Canadian province wants to speed up medical licensing
The region's authorities say they need as many specialists as possible.
The Ontario Health Minister has instructed the colleges of doctors and nurses that issue licenses to work in Canada to develop a plan for faster licensing of professionals with foreign credentials. Also, medics whose qualifications are insufficient for a license should be given the opportunity for fast-track training.
Medical shortages are a big problem across Canada. For the past few weeks, waiting times in Ontario's emergency rooms have been stretching into hours and even days due to the lack of staff.
Although there is a labour shortage, immigrants with a medical degree cannot work in the health care sector because they need to be licensed. Licensing in health care is a difficult and time-consuming process. Foreigners must show that they have recent experience in their specialty, pass exams, and demonstrate knowledge of English or French. Mostly foreign medics have to completely retrain and get a Canadian diploma.
Right now, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario estimates that 26,000 foreign nurses are waiting to have their qualifications recognized. It is hoped that government efforts will speed up the process.