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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is urging the Liberal government to immediately begin discussions with the Yukon Medical Association and Yukon Medical Council about possible solutions to speed up physician licencing to allow doctors who have licenses elsewhere to practice in the territory.
A Canadian Medical Association (CMA) survey found 95% of doctors support the idea of pan-Canadian licensure, and 75% agree it would improve access to health care in rural, remote, and northern communities. A majority of doctors also say they would personally be more likely to seek out locum opportunities in other jurisdictions. The CMA says, “We need to take action – now.” In November, the President of the Yukon Medical Association called the current model a “bureaucratic and arduous process."
“The Liberal government has been slow to act, while thousands of Yukoners are without a family doctor,” said Health and Social Services Critic Brad Cathers. “Right now, physicians must seek licences with different regulatory bodies if they want to move. Recognizing licences from across Canada and from a short list of other countries with similarly high standards would be a way to attract more doctors to the Yukon, and help thousands of people on the waitlist for a family doctor.”
Nova Scotia and Manitoba both recently announced changes to speed up the recognition of doctors trained outside the country. The Yukon could consider similar actions, including potentially recognizing the credentials of doctors trained and licenced in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries with comparably high standards of medical education.