Pandemic showed need for national physician licence, doctors argue – CBC

Paperwork is hampering recruitment efforts to rural areas, some doctors say

Nov 10, 2021

Dr. Monika Dutt was just adjusting to her new role as the medical officer of health for the central and western parts of Newfoundland and Labrador when COVID-19 reached the province.

As the regions turned to her for guidance, she faced an added stress: applying for her licence to practise there.

Dutt, a family doctor and public health physician in Nova Scotia, was hired in February 2020 and issued a short-term licence that allowed her to work for three months in Newfoundland and Labrador. She was then told she would have to apply for a full licence in order to stay on.

“There was actually a point at which it was questionable whether the process would be finished before my short-term licence was done, and whether there would be no medical officer of health for half the province for that period of time,” she said.

“Which in some ways to me, doesn’t make sense. If I was qualified to work for the first three months, what is the difference now?”

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