Manitoba eases transition for internationally trained doctors

'This change allows us to recruit more physicians while maintaining high competency levels'

Manitoba eases transition for internationally trained doctors

Manitoba is easing the way for internationally trained doctors to come to the province and enter its health-care workforce.

Under the changes to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba (CPSM) General Regulation, internationally educated physicians in specific membership classes will no longer be required to pass the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam Part 1 (MCCQE1) before registering and practising in Manitoba.

“We are leaving no stone unturned to strengthen our health system for Manitobans,” said Audrey Gordon, minister of health. “We worked with the governing body of physicians in Manitoba to streamline the path, reduce barriers and enable internationally trained physicians to provide care sooner in alignment with our government’s $200-million Health Human Resource Action Plan.”

This will allow internationally educated physicians to provide care sooner in Manitoba, says Gordon in a Facebook post.

The development comes after Manitoba set aside $123 million for nine initiatives to retain, recruit and support nurses.

Physicians with international education who apply for provisional registration in Manitoba already have medical degrees and have completed residency programs with certifying exams, says the government. Meanwhile, the MCCQE1 only assesses the medical knowledge and clinical decision-making ability of candidates at a level expected of a medical student.

The amendments to the CPSM regulation eliminate barriers to recruiting doctors from outside Canada, says Dr. Anna Ziomek, registrar, CPSM.

“This change allows us to recruit more physicians to Manitoba while maintaining high competency levels. The exam was holding back many qualified, internationally trained physicians from coming to the province.

“From a regulatory standpoint, we must take all steps possible to eliminate barriers to assessment without compromising quality and patient safety.”

Immigrants tend to do worse when it comes to finding a suitable job compared with non-immigrants, according to a previous report from RBC.

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