There are around 7,000 foreign-trained doctors in Ontario alone who are facing regulatory hurdles in their quest to become practicing doctors. At a time when health care professionals are struggling to cope with medical emergencies, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and city councillors are urging the province to let foreign-trained doctors work in hospitals to help fight against the novel coronavirus.
These doctors face many barriers in getting certified to work in hospitals. Now would be a good time to revisit the issue and let foreign doctors prove their mettle and competency. Furthermore, they are willing and ready to go in and do their bit.
Some of the barriers faced by these doctors include the high cost of certification and testing, a lack of resident internships and the infrequency of testing.
There’s a website MoreDoctorsNow to encourage the province to “take down the barriers to doctors who want to serve their communities.”
The association that represents the regional physicians’ regulatory bodies has said that for now, calling international medical graduates to action isn’t on the table.
Meanwhile on the other side of the country, College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, announced it was looking to amend its bylaws to allow internationally trained doctors to work “under the direction and supervision of attending physicians” so long as they have at least two years of post-graduate training and the first part of the qualifying exams.
A spokeswoman for the college said the amendment had been in the works since last year, but the minister of health fast-tracked it due to the pandemic. It’s now in a mandatory 15-day review period.
Health Canada says the issue of allowing foreign-trained doctors into our hospitals will be determined on a regional level for now.
If retired doctors, many of whom may have their skills slightly rusty and slow are allowed back into hospitals, surely we can give young, promising doctors who have the credentials and the skills at least prove if they are capable. There are too many brilliant doctors currently delivering pizza and working in warehouses. This is an especially criminal waste of a talent especially at a time the country could use all hands on deck.