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Canada Eases Path for Foreign Doctors, Including Nigeria, to Practice Medicine Amid Health Worker Shortage

July 9, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

In response to the growing shortage of healthcare professionals in the country, Canada has followed the United States in implementing a new law that allows foreign-trained doctors to bypass the residency training program. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s thirteen provinces and territories, has introduced a streamlined pathway to enable Nigerian and other foreign doctors to practice medicine in Canada. This development highlights the vital role of doctors in society.

Previously, many Nigerian doctors who migrated to Canada were unable to practice medicine like their counterparts in the UK due to strict licensing procedures and the lack of recognition of their fellowships. This situation led to medical consultants and licensed pharmacists from Nigeria taking up menial jobs, such as cab driving, while awaiting certification.

The College has released a statement outlining the procedures and eligibility criteria for foreign doctors interested in practicing medicine in Canada.

Family Medicine Specialists

For internationally trained family medicine specialists, the Nova Scotia Practice Ready Assessment Program (NSPRAP) ensures that international medical graduates (IMGs) who wish to practice family medicine in Nova Scotia possess the appropriate clinical skills and knowledge to provide quality patient care.

The Nova Scotia Practice Ready Assessment Program (NSPRAP) is for family medicine specialists who:

have completed postgraduate training in family medicine outside Canada;

do not yet meet Nova Scotia’s licensing requirements; and meet the eligibility criteria for the PRA in Family Medicine.

Eligibility

You must meet the requirements for all license applications to practice medicine in Nova Scotia.

You must be a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) or Qualify for an Acceptable Alternative to the LMCC

You must have at least 2 years of postgraduate training toward recognition as a general practitioner or family medicine specialist.

You must have completed at least 8 weeks of training in all of the following fields:
• family medicine or general practice;
• internal medicine;
• surgery;
• paediatrics;
• psychiatry; and
• obstetrics and gynecology.

Please note: The registrar may accept 8-16 weeks of extra training in family medicine instead of training in psychiatry, obstetrics, and gynecology.
The College will consider Emergency Medicine rotations as part of the 24 months of postgraduate training.

You must have practiced independently for at least 2 years in a family or general practice AND for at least 450 hours within 3 years of applying for the NSPRAP

You must have fewer than two prior failed attempts in Canadian practice-ready assessment programs.

How to Apply

Step 1: You submit your credentials to be verified

Step 2: We review your application

Step 3: Your application is screened by the NSPRAP

Step 4: You submit an application for a Clinical Assessment license

Step 5: You undergo a clinical field assessment

Step 6: You receive your license to practice

Other Specialists

You may be eligible for a Practice Ready Assessment for Specialists (PRA Specialists) if you meet the criteria and have been endorsed by Nova Scotia Health.

The PRA Specialists is for specialists who:

have specialty training and certification from a jurisdiction other than the 29 accepted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) (for more information, see the RCPSC Specialty Training Requirements to compare your postgraduate training to the Canadian standard); and meet the screening criteria for Practice Readiness Assessment (PRA) for Specialists.

Please note: A PRA is not conducted in subspecialty disciplines.

Eligibility

You must meet the requirements for all license applications to practice medicine in Nova Scotia.

You must be a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) or Qualify for an Acceptable Alternative to the LMCC

You must provide a record of postgraduate training that is substantially equivalent to Canadian training and has been satisfactorily completed. Refer to the RCPSC Specialty Training Requirements.

You must have specialty certification from an international jurisdiction, equivalent to a primary specialty as defined by the RCPSC.

You must have a minimum of 3 years of independent practice in the discipline.

You must demonstrate evidence of currency of practice in the primary specialty, defined as at least 450 hours within the last 3 years

You must have fewer than two prior failed attempts in Canadian practice-ready assessment programs.

How to Apply

Step 1: You are endorsed by Nova Scotia Health or IWK Health Centre

Step 2: You submit your credentials to be verified

Step 3: We review your application

Step 4: You submit an application for Clinical Assessment license

Step 5: You undergo a clinical field assessment

Step 6: You receive your license to practice

Nigeria Doctors with an interest in practicing in Canada can get further details here:https://cpsns.ns.ca/registration-licensing/future-practice/practice-ready-assessment/

In related news, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CphA) has also declared a national shortage of pharmacists in Canada. Small communities across Alberta are struggling to recruit pharmacists for vacant positions and according a county Mayor Paul Reutov, they are having a hard time finding several categories of physicians and many types of pharmacists. He said the community needs 13 physicians to meet AHS coverage standards, and there are currently five doctors working.

(Publichealth.com.ng)

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