P.E.I. doctors challenge Currie over recruitment

Teresa Wright
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Says health minister has under active perception, may not understand all the issues at play

Doctor Cyril Moyse, registrar of the P.E.I. College of Physicians and Surgeons

The registrar of the P.E.I. College of Physicians and Surgeons is defending his organization after Health Minister Doug Currie raised concern about the length of time it takes some doctors to obtain a licence to practise in P.E.I.

Dr. Cyril Moyse says the college has already been streamlining their accreditation processes, aligning them with national standards.

He realizes there are concerns with the length of time it can sometimes take, but says he believes Currie may not understand all the issues at play from the college’s point of view in ensuring a physician is appropriately and safely accredited to practise medicine.

“I think the problem really is a perceptional one,” Moyse said.

“I realize from a political point of view, perception is really important. From our point of view, public safety is important, so if one is going to interfere with the other, public safety will trump perception. But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk, and I would hope, understand each other a bit better.”

On Friday, Currie told reporters the accreditation process is too onerous and is even preventing some physicians from coming to P.E.I.

He said recently there was a doctor who was practising at a hospital in Ontario who wanted to come to P.E.I. to fill a locum position. He eventually gave up, citing too much red tape in trying to get a licence in P.E.I.

Currie says he has raised the issue with the college, but received pushback toward any changes.

In an interview with The Guardian Monday, Moyse explained the work that must be done to ensure a candidate meets all requirements can sometimes be extensive.

“Our job is to determine – are the qualifications appropriate for where they’re going to practise, and to make sure there are not professional, behavioural, ethical issues that are pending or in practice, or health issues that could interfere with a safe practice,” Moyse said.

While doing this work, the college must look into private matters, such as complaints that may have been raised against the physician. This information cannot be shared with government or the public.

“From the minister’s perception, I can understand it. They have a need, they want someone, they have a candidate. But beyond that, from the minister’s point of view, it’s a black box,” Moyse said.

“The ministry, from their mandate, is interested in, I presume, to provide the (physician) volume and find someone to provide the volume of services that’s required. Our mandate is to make sure the services they do provide are safe.

It’s two sides of the same coin, but you can’t see one side of the coin and the other side at the same time.”

He acknowledged the paperwork can take some time to acquire, but once it has all been gathered and submitted, the actual accreditation takes only between two days to two weeks.

He was also quick to point out not all the paperwork is required by the college.

“We’ve done a lot to try to reduce duplication, but in addition to the there’s also a fairly lengthy credentialing process that the hospital and Health P.E.I. have to undergo,” he said.

Currie has said he will take the idea of a potential regional standard for physician licensing to the meeting of Atlantic health ministers next month.

Moyse says he welcomes those discussions, and hopes to have the opportunity to discuss the matter directly with the minister.



Organizations: P.E.I. College of Physicians

Geographic location: P.E.I., Ontario

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Recent comments

    May 06, 2014 - 15:01


  • Dave Anger
    May 06, 2014 - 11:35

    The Island is too small to have its own college need to join with NB or NS to make it work

  • Money$
    May 06, 2014 - 09:38

    The problem is the huge bureaucracy in Health. It became bloated as a way to up costs and justify more federal dollars, but now it is preventing proper health care on PEI.

  • Squirrel
    May 06, 2014 - 09:27

    What a pile of BS !! People in other Province are physically no different than so why do the College of Physicians & Surgeons think they can't help us. I hear what they are saying but it is overkill mainly because of $$$$$$$$.

  • ralph
    May 06, 2014 - 09:22

    I guess ghiz didn't understand how the order of pei worked eather!!!! a cyril

  • Casual observer
    May 06, 2014 - 09:00

    We should be supporting the college of physicians. They are doing their best to keep substandard docs off this Island. I'd rather have a shortage, and wait longer to see a well trained, competent physician; than see some clown who's been kicked out of other provinces/country or has below standard training (there are too many already here on PEI - who would not be allowed in NS or Ontario). They should all have to jump through a few hoops to make sure they can pass our basic competency exams. It his highly pessimistic to think the local physicians would want to keep the supply tight. They want the best for the patients. Though a regional or national standardized admitting process for foreign trained docs, or licensing in general would make sense. Stop playing politics Currie!

  • old lady
    May 06, 2014 - 08:22

    I have lived here a long time and I have seen 2 men practise medicine here who were not doctors .I for one would like to know exactly what a doctor needs to be accredited .I would also like to know how men not doctors can fool the system ,especially as the board is so thorough. I may be older but the memory is still good.

  • Alex
    May 06, 2014 - 08:19

    How can we possibly believe the 'College's' primary concern is patient safety when there are currently between 5-7,000 people in PEI without a family doctor (surely this cannot be 'safe')? Sorry College, I am not buying it and I don't think the general public is either. Keep supply short! Jigs up folks - you to are accountable.

  • townie22
    May 06, 2014 - 08:17

    so why is the system in Nova Scotia so much faster/streamlined? is the College saying the Government of N.S. doesn't care as much about it's citizens as PEI does by letting in unqualified Doctors?

  • G. MacDonald
    May 06, 2014 - 07:35

    The last thing we need on this island is government getting into setting standards for doctors. In this case, politics has no place in determining our safety!

    • IBC
      May 06, 2014 - 14:09

      Do you want real doctors or ones that passed their papers or boards IN THE BACK ROOM IN INDIA OR CHINA even IRAQ. With no real qualifications at all . Come now let the people do their jobs .It took us 7 years almost to get a doctor after moving here from another province . We had one only to have her leave the country in 4 months after we got her . Then we waited again for a few years and we are not that much better of . PLEASE DO YOUR JOB AND MAYBE WE WILL GET REAL DOCTORS THAT WILL SET UP THERE HOMES AND TREAT US WITH RESPECT AND GIVE US THE BEST TREATMENT THEY CAN .

  • fred
    May 06, 2014 - 07:14

    This is rich, the Health Minister starting a fight with the doctors. Can't win this one, Currie, we need them and they know it, --- they can, will and do hold us up for ransom---.

  • Walt
    May 06, 2014 - 07:13

    Again ridiculous! If a Doctor is accredited in any province in this country why is that not acceptable to the inflated importance of these so called professionals. They are in the process of aligning with national standards. Use the standards now stop being road blocks. This is an example of a soon to be retired doctor. When was he last accredited.

  • Quiet Observer
    May 06, 2014 - 07:09

    College of Physisians, like the Law Society, has too much power. Both of these organizations should be stripped of their power to self-govern. that is an antiquated way of doing things that is quickly going by the wayside everywhere else in the world as these organizations are proving to be too self-serving and the general public is suffering because of it.

  • Chester L
    May 06, 2014 - 06:55

    The View From Martinvale........Chester L Keeping it simple here.:) 1. Health Minister Currie and his comments 2. College of Physicals Head...Dr. Moyse and comments. 3. What value on the political side for both! 4. Who should be served here , patient care, #1 5. Anything else is self-serving and perserving so lets Out the disagreement so that what needs to be fixed from both Agencies is done and quickly because we care about the Island patients who need capable Doctors...........Cannot we not agree on this........Again its mostly about turf war and blame game and not getting the Islanders served # 1..........Can these two gentlemen focus on the issue and problem and not each other..........What a change that would bring..........just hoping again for some common sense to win the day.):

  • Ridiculous
    May 06, 2014 - 06:48

    Recruitment to the Island is non competitve with other provinces. The layers of red tape and top heavy health care administration serious impede recruitment. I have known several health care professionals who have left the employ of PEI Health due to problems with administration, staffing, and wasteful use of recouses amongst other issues. Time to get out of the 19th century PEI Health and learn from other provincial health care systems that are run properly.

  • Parent
    May 06, 2014 - 06:00

    Why does PEI even need a separate process than Nova Scotia, for example? Bottom line is that there are many people on PEI with a doctor so regardless of what these doctors explanations are for the delay the facts are that their delays are impacting lives and the delays are costing money. This money could well be used in other places within the Health business such as in the mental or addictions field.

  • voter
    May 06, 2014 - 05:30

    i'll take the doctors side of this explanation -- -politicians have shown no integrity time and time again ,decade after decade ,liberal ,conservative,and other such political gangs - politicians have proven they can not be trusted to tell the truth and are first in line for a share of taxpayer money , free pnp or pork barrel type fringe benefits --- if you think i'm wrong - you are probably in denial