Changes are afoot with Manitoba’s health-care system, as the province hopes to welcome more than 100 new physicians into its fold.
With a firm contracted to recruit 150 physicians, the province has also approved regulatory changes to allow internationally educated doctors to start working sooner. It’s all part of the government’s goal to have health-care workers providing services throughout the province, with plans to recruit 50 physicians each for Winnipeg, northern Manitoba and rural communities.
Health Minister Audrey Gordon said at a press conference Monday that family physicians play “an integral role” with the services they provide.
“We are making the necessary moves to recruit 150 family physicians to work in our province, which will support better patient outcomes and bring care and services closer to home for Manitobans,” said Gordon.
Alongside the recruitment efforts, the provincial PC government also approved amendments to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba (CPSM) General Regulation to streamline registration requirements and the registration process for internationally educated physicians. The changes will come into effect on Sept. 1.
According to the province, internationally educated workers who meet their requirements during registration will not have to hold a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada to work in Manitoba. Applicants who have already completed the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Subspecialist Examination Affiliate Program will be eligible for a fast-track registration process.
“We are pleased to eliminate barriers to assessment, without compromising quality and patient safety,” said Dr. Anna Ziomek, registrar with the CPSM. “With these amendments, regulation will be more adaptable to current workforce challenges and CPSM can better streamline assessment processes and establish requirements for supervision and monitoring.”
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Ziomek said the province’s changes will attract skilled professionals and that specialists will be able to work on their practice directly through passing college exams.
The president of Doctors Manitoba, Dr. Michael Boroditsky, also added that removing “burdensome and unnecessary steps” will help “well-qualified international medical graduates” practice sooner, addressing the province’s physician shortage.
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