Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is calling for changes in medical licensing in Canada, as there is currently a shortage of about 40,000 doctors in the country.
Poilievre proposes creating a national testing system to increase the number of licensed doctors and nurses allowed to work in Canada.
He suggests that if all the doctors trained abroad who are currently in Canada were able to work in the healthcare system, the doctor shortage could be reduced by half.
Additionally, six million Canadians are without a doctor, and Canada ranks 26th in the OECD for doctors per thousand patients, despite having a high healthcare budget.
Poilievre claims that government gatekeepers stand in the way, creating massive delays and bureaucratic hurdles for highly qualified immigrants and Canadians trained abroad to get licensed to practice.
He believes that this system needs to change, and proposes a national merit-based testing standard that would license doctors and nurses within 60 days of applying.
This would mean one standardized testing system, and doctors and nurses would be judged based on their merits and abilities rather than where they come from.
The new system would also provide a national license, meaning an Alberta doctor could practice in Nova Scotia if they moved across the country.
The standards would be the same for people born in Canada as for those who come from abroad, and it would speed up the licensing of medical doctors and nurses.
Poilievre believes that if someone can do the job, they should get the job, and doctors should have the chance to care for those in need.
This proposed idea is similar to the regulated trades’ Red Seal program, where provinces agreed to a single testing standard for electricians, carpenters, and other regulated professions.
Poilievre hopes that the provinces will voluntarily have the option to join the Blue Seal standard, leading to more doctors, more nurses, and fewer gatekeepers.
Ultimately, he wants to bring the best healthcare in the world to Canada and bring home Canadian doctors and nurses.