Doctors could be nationally accredited, believes ex-CMA president

SAINT-JEAN, NL — As healthcare systems struggle with physician shortages, the outgoing Canadian Medical Association president is proposing creating a centralized national window for issuing medical licenses — and some provinces are backing the idea.

Currently, each province issues its medical practice licenses for its territory. dr Katharine Smart, in a recent interview, believes that this system is very cumbersome, especially for doctors trained outside of Canada.

She believes that a national accreditation system would verify the credentials of foreign-trained physicians through a single, streamlined mechanism across the country.

dr Smart, a pediatrician in Whitehorse, Yukon, says foreign-trained doctors come to Canada hoping to practice their profession, but are often hampered by an expensive licensing process. She believes many will eventually go to other countries where it is easier to practice.

Some provinces, including Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, are currently trying to streamline their procedures as they welcome Ukrainian doctors fleeing the war in their country.

dr Gus Grant, chancellor of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, believes a national licensing system makes sense.

Meanwhile, the four Atlantic provinces are discussing ways to coordinate their licensing mechanisms in the Atlantic region.

Darren Pena

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