The Manitoba government in Canada has reached a deal with a recruitment agency to hire 150 family physicians in a bid to combat the shortage of doctors in the province.

It also cleared regulatory changes to speed up the process of working in the province for internationally trained doctors.

Manitoba health minister Audrey Gordon said: “These amendments reduce unnecessary barriers for internationally educated physicians seeking to practise in Manitoba, without compromising patient safety and care.” 

Through the contract with Canadian Health Labs, the government initially plans to add 50 physicians each for Winnipeg, northern Manitoba, and rural areas.

The changes made to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba (CPSM) General Regulation are also set to streamline registration requirements and accelerate the registration process for globally trained physicians.

These amendments will become effective from 1 September this year.

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They will also provide CPSM with opportunities to fix current streamlined assessments for fully licensed globally educated physicians.

The opportunities include minimised provisional registration standards for people applying from jurisdictions that have similar healthcare, education, and training systems.

CPSM registrar Dr Anna Ziomek said: “The current regulations for evaluating provisional registrants delay and discourage qualified international medical graduates from practising in Manitoba.

“With these amendments, regulation will be more adaptable to current workforce challenges and CPSM can better streamline assessment processes and establish requirements for supervision and monitoring.”