McGuinty Government Introduces Legislation That Would Make Access To Health Professionals A Public Interest

    Bill Would Have Regulatory Colleges Consider Needs of Unattached Patients
    In Process of Licensing Internationally Trained Health Providers

    TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ -


    Ontario is introducing new legislation that would ease the way for
internationally trained health care providers to practice in the province.
    The legislation - Increasing Access to Qualified Health Professionals for
Ontarians Act - will, if passed, change the mandate of all regulatory colleges
to acknowledge that access to health care is a matter of public interest.
Ontario has 23 regulated health professions.
    This legislation is one part of a bigger plan to remove barriers for
internationally trained doctors. Over the summer, the McGuinty government will
also be working closely with The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
on regulation changes that would ease the transition to practice for
foreign-trained doctors. The plan, based on the Report on Removing Barriers
for International Medical Doctors by Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Laurel Broten,
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, details
five major recommendations on how to further increase the number of
international medical doctors in Ontario.
    This legislation is part of the government's strategy to meet the needs
of unattached patients, reduce wait times and provide older Ontarians with
care closer to home.


    "Ontario is a leader in Canada in providing opportunities for
internationally trained doctors to practice medicine," said George Smitherman,
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "Through this new
legislation and Laurel Broten's plan, Ontarians' access to a family doctor
would improve as barriers for qualified internationally trained doctors are
removed, allowing them to practise medicine sooner."


    -   More than 5,000 internationally trained doctors are practicing in
        Ontario, representing almost a quarter of the physician workforce
    -   About 630 IMGs are currently in residency training
    -   For the fourth straight year, more certificates were issued to IMGs
        than to Ontario graduates by The College of Physicians and Surgeons
        of Ontario (CPSO)
    -   CPSO also reports the number of full practice certificates issued to
        IMGs this year was the highest in 20 years, marking the seventh
        straight year of an increasing number of certificates for
        internationally trained doctors


    Read Laurel Broten's Report on International Medical Doctors
    Find out how internationally-trained doctors can qualify for professional
practice ( in Ontario.

                                                      Disponible en français


                           ONTARIO IMPROVES ACCESS

    The Ontario government is introducing a plan that would ease the way for
internationally trained doctors to practise in the province. This includes:

    The Proposed Increasing Access to Qualified Health Professionals for
    Ontarians Act

    This new Act would amend the Regulated Health Professions Act to place a
duty on health regulatory Colleges to work in consultation with the Minister
of Health and Long-Term Care to ensure, as a matter of public interest, that
Ontarians have access to qualified, skilled and competent international health

    Regulations under the Medicine Act

    The government will work with The College of Physicians and Surgeons of
Ontario (CPSO) to amend regulations under the Medicine Act, as detailed in
five recommendations put forth by Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Laurel Broten in her
Report on International Medical Doctors:

    1.  Direct-to-practice: streamline the registration process for doctors
        already practicing elsewhere in Canada, the U.S. or other countries
        with a comparable health and medical education system.

    2.  Transitional or Restricted Licence: provide internationally trained
        doctors with transitional licensing that recognizes that many doctors
        can come here and begin practice with some limited supervision OR a
        restricted licence for doctors whose practice is limited to their
        highly specialized training, such as a neonatalogist.

    Other Actions

    The government will also enhance existing programs and processes to:

    3.  Provide a more timely and efficient assessment process for
        internationally trained doctors and enhance training and orientation
        programs. This may require increasing the number of entry and
        advanced level training positions and practice-ready assessment
        positions, and investing in the medical education system and
        orientation programs to expand capacity.

    4.  Provide expanded access to individualized support for doctors trained
        in other systems for cultural and language education, mentorship and
        hands-on training

    5.  In cases where an International Medical Graduate is not likely to
        achieve success as a doctor, provide personal assistance to
        transition him or her to alternate roles in Ontario's health care

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Laurel Ostfield, Minister's Office, (416)
212-4048; Mark Nesbitt, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197

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