Proposed B.C. change could put foreign-trained doctors to work during coronavirus pandemic

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The organization that regulates B.C.’s doctors is considering a move that could allow more foreign-trained physicians to work.

The proposed changes by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia would create a new registration class called “associate physician.”

Associate physicians would have to practise under the supervision of a fully-certified doctor, would only be able to work in teams, and would not be licensed for independent practice.

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The college says similar registration classes exist in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

In order to qualify, applicants would need to have a medical degree, at least two years of postgraduate training in a medical or surgical specialty, and have completed Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada qualifying exams.

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Former NDP MLA Harry Lali has been among the voices calling for B.C.’s registration requirements for doctors eased as the COVID-19 pandemic strains health-care resources.

He said he welcomed the proposed changes, but that they don’t go far enough.

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“The three criteria that are listed by the college … specifically exclude medical residents,

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