Medical professionals are calling on the Canadian government to focus more attention and funding on improving the licensing process for immigrant physicians so that they are able to enter the workforce more quickly.
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is calling for more funding in temporary work programs, or residencies, at hospitals which is a critical step in becoming licensed to practice medicine in Canada. The organization estimates that currently between 6,000 and 10,000 doctors are unable to practice because of the lack of residencies.
In the past, the government has attempted to deal with such challenges by promising to improve the credential recognition process. Most recently, a new rule was implemented where certain professionals in eight categories would have to wait no longer than one year to have their credentials assessed. The government pledged to add doctors to this list by 2012.
However, credential recognition is only one of many challenges facing foreign-trained physicians who also need to obtain Canadian experience before they can receive their license.
Increasing the number of positions available would help to ease the transitions for immigrant doctors. Professionals at the College have additional suggestions on how to improve the situation, including the creation of a separate body designated to examine the health industry and recommend hiring strategies according to need.
Source: Globe and Mail