In addition to the mask and hand sanitizer shortages, Ontario’s response to COVID-19 highlights the need for more frontline health care workers. Each regulated health profession’s college responded differently, and we have discussed some of those changes in other posts to keep you apprised.
Today, we focus on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), who set out to increase the number of available and licenced physicians out on the frontlines through certificates of registration that authorize supervised practice of short duration. The temporary licences authorize practice for 30 days.
In the early 1990s, the Ontario government enacted regulation for temporary licences under the Medicine Act for situations like pandemics. These licences are not common, and the availability of these licences is triggered when there is a need for:
In March, the pandemic triggered the provisions, and the CPSO began accepting applications for temporary licences (“Supervised Short Duration”). Applicants for the supervised 30-day licence must have:
The Supervised Short Duration certificates are only permitted to last 30 days but can be renewed. Applicants who qualify for these certificates may not qualify for other types of CPSO certification.
International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are an obvious and untapped reservoir of physicians ready to assist. IMGs are physicians who graduated from medical schools outside Canada or the United States. Data suggests there are almost 13,000 foreign-educated doctors who are not working in their fields. Some of these physicians were experts in their home country. Of particular relevance in the current environment, others have experience working in austere conditions and are all too familiar with providing patient care with limited resources.
Planning and responding to the pandemic is not over given the warnings from public health officials that we are likely to see a second (or third) wave. In a pandemic situation where resources are scarce, and many patients are frontline workers themselves, IMGs can be enlisted to help with a situation we have not faced before.Our blog is not a substitute for legal advice, tailored to your specific situation. At Wise Health Law, we have extensive experience in guiding physicians, including IMGs, with registration matters. We would be pleased to assist you.
The test for the standard of care in medical negligence cases has remained untouched since the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1995 decision in ter Neuzen v. Korn.
On January 18, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the appeal in Armstrong v. Ward. Their unanimous decision maintains the status quo with respect to the standard of care in medical negligence cases.
Like other professionals, pharmacists have been adjusting to an expanded scope of practice as all health professionals work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. We wrote about some of these changes in our previous blog posts.
Last week, the Minister of Health made additional changes to the Regulated Health Professions Act relevant to pharmacy professionals. Now, members of the Ontario College of Pharmacists — including pharmacists, interns, registered pharmacy students, or pharmacy technicians — can administer coronavirus vaccines by injection. These individuals must be certified to administer vaccines and must do so while being engaged by an organization that has an agreement with the Minister governing the administration of the vaccine (e.g., a hospital).