Doctors in Atlantic Canada will soon be able to work in any of the 4 provinces

Premiers Blaine Higgs, Dennis King, Tim Houston and Andrew Furey met in Charlottetown on Monday.  (Aaron Adetuyi/CBC - photo credit)

Premiers Blaine Higgs, Dennis King, Tim Houston and Andrew Furey met in Charlottetown on Monday. (Aaron Adetuyi/CBC – photo credit)

Physicians who live and work in the four Atlantic provinces will soon be able to work in the region without additional licensing thanks to a new Atlantic Physicians Registry.

The register was announced on Monday after a meeting of the four Atlantic prime ministers. The register is expected to be in place by May 1st.

PEI Premier Dennis King said the registry had been in the works “for the last few months”. He said doctors and surgeons will be able to sign up for the registry. This allows them to work in any of the Atlantic provinces with no additional license requirements.

“Right now, for example, when I’m doing my college paperwork, I only get a Newfoundland and Labrador license, so it’s quite onerous for me to come and work in PEI or New Brunswick or Nova Scotia,” NL said -Premier Andrew Furey, who is also an orthopedic trauma surgeon.

Aaron Adetuyi/CBC

Aaron Adetuyi/CBC

“People who want to move in the summer, for example PEI is a nice place and want to spend a few weeks with their family, can certainly do that.”

He said it will also allow provinces to fill “certain gaps in the system” with a larger pool of candidates.

“We believe there is a desire and desire, particularly among new physicians, to have a different style of practice – one that offers opportunity, geographic opportunity and different experiences – that have that mobility and remove the barriers to establishing themselves in Atlantic Canada first.” move and ultimately we hope that the nation will be something very attractive.”

“No competition space”

The prime ministers say the initiative is not aimed at stealing medical resources from each other.

“What we’re talking about is a temporary intervention,” Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said, noting that if a doctor wants to move permanently to another province, they can already do so.

Aaron Adetuyi/CBC

Aaron Adetuyi/CBC

They can also travel as a proxy, but that, Furey said, requires about a month of paperwork.

“I don’t see this as a competitive space, I see this as a collaborative space and if one wins, we all win,” Furey said.

However, King did hint that this might be a recruitment tool.

“We know, like Prince Edward Island, the 40 doctors that we recruited in 2021 … over 50 percent of them were surrogates who came here first through one of those agreements, came here, did some work here, found solace at Level here and.” decided to come back.”

No silver bullet

The prime ministers said the register would not address the shortage of doctors currently facing the health system.

“It gives us more band-aids, if you will, to fix some immediate issues along the way while we develop a moderate and modern system for the future,” Furey said.

Aaron Adetuyi/CBC

Aaron Adetuyi/CBC

“Nothing we do for health is a magic bullet that miraculously fixes everything, but I think this is another small thing that is driving us forward and will make a difference, not just today but in the future said King.

King said he hopes a similar system will eventually be expanded to include other health professionals.


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