- Associate Physicians and Physician Assistants can now license and practice in Prince Edward Island (PEI).
- Foreign-trained physicians who have completed their post-graduate training can apply for a license to practice in PEI as Associate Physicians.
- PEI government to cover cost of English proficiency tests for nurses.
- New changes to PEI’s healthcare system is already in place from June 17, 2023.
PEI has added new regulations to integrate two new roles of Associate Physicians (APs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) to its healthcare system. The government of Prince Edward Island, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island, and Health PEI have partnered to bring in changes that would make it easier for eligible candidates including foreign-trained physicians to get a license.
The mandatory requirement to take a jurisdictional exam before registering has also been removed.
Dr. Michael Gardam, CEO of Health PEI noted, “The availability of health care workers is the key challenge in delivering quality health care today in Canada. The addition of Associate Physicians and Physician Assistants… provides an avenue for trained health care workers who have significant skills to become licensed professionals in our health system,”
The addition of APs and PAs to PEI’s healthcare system is expected to help reduce wait times for care, improve patient satisfaction, and free up physicians to focus on more complex cases.
Who are Associate Physicians & Physician Assistants in Canada?
In Canada, these new professions are regulated by the respective provincial or territorial medical regulatory authorities.
Eligbile candidates must meet the same educational and professional requirements as physicians, and they are held to the same standards of practice.
Associate Physicians are medical doctors who have completed additional training to work in a supportive role to physicians. They can diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, and order and interpret tests.
Physician Assistants are health care professionals who have a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies. They work under the supervision of a physician to provide a wide range of health care and follow-up services for patients.
PAs currently work in five other provinces across Canada including Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.
Self-Employed Physicans Can Qualify for Express Entry PR Draws
In a parallel development, the federal government removed the barrier to let self-employed physicians apply for permanent residency through Express Entry. Several physicians or doctors who are currently in Canada as temporary residents are notable beneficiaries.
In recent years, PEI has also increased the number of nursing positions and opened new health care clinics.
Government will Reimburse Nurses for Language Proficiency Test
Foreign-trained nurses are required to take an English language proficiency test, either through the Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Applicants can now seek reimbursement of the cost after confirming Prince Edward Island residency.
“As we continue to look for efficiencies and ways to streamline the hiring of health care workers in Prince Edward Island, we know that reducing cost barriers can help. This is another initiative that makes it easier for those who want to come live and work in PEI to do so,” said Mark McLane, Minister for Health and Wellness.
The current fee for the IELTS test ranges from $309 to $335 plus tax depending on test location or if they are using a virtual platform.
Eligbile applicants can have upto two English language test fees reimbursed but only one unsuccessful attempt will be reimbursed.
If you’re are medical professional and interested in immigrating to Canada, you should check out PEI provincial nomination program. Claim your free consultation with us to learn more.