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Reducing Barriers and Improving Access to Care


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CPSO approves a series of changes to support Ontario physicians and patients

As part of its commitment to help address the physician shortage in Ontario, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) has approved additional changes to make it easier for physicians to practise in Ontario.

This month, a new Recognition of RCPSC Subspecialist Affiliate Status policy was approved, which creates a new pathway to licensure for internationally-trained subspecialists who — up until now — did not have an avenue for independent practice in Ontario. Generally, Subspecialist Affiliate candidates are trained and registered as clinical fellows in RCPSC-accredited subspecialty training programs, but do not have prerequisite RCPSC certification in a primary specialty for RCSPC Fellowship. Accordingly, they have not had a route to licensure outside the postgraduate class prior to these changes. This new pathway provides a route for these physicians, as well as other internationally-educated physicians holding the Subspecialist Affiliate designation, to practise independently in Ontario within their scope.

“During these challenging times, CPSO will continue to take every available step to help alleviate the strains on our healthcare system,” said CEO and Registrar Dr. Nancy Whitmore. “We will continue to work with our partners to identify opportunities to reduce barriers to care and further support Ontario physicians.

In addition to creating this new pathway, fees have also been eliminated for medical residents who provide additional services at Ontario hospitals. CPSO identified an opportunity to remove unnecessary barriers to registration, while also recognizing the important contribution that residents are making to a strained healthcare system.

These improvements follow a series of changes implemented earlier this year to reduce barriers to practise for internationally-educated physicians.