P.E.I. physician opposes regional licensing for doctors

Ryan Ross rross@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on March 9, 2016

P.E.I. College of Physicians and Surgeons

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There have been no formal talks about an Atlantic body to regulate doctors, but the P.E.I. College of Physicians and Surgeons’ registrar says he isn’t in favour of the idea.

Dr. Cyril Moyse told MLAs at a recent health and wellness committee meeting he couldn’t speak for the college, but his opinion was the size of a joint college would make P.E.I.’s doctors less important in a bigger regulatory body.

“My gut feeling is that it would be really difficult,” he said.

Moyse was responding to a question from Summerside-Wilmot MLA Janice Sherry who asked for his thoughts on a regional college of physicians for Atlantic Canada.

Former health minister Doug Currie floated the idea of a joint college before he changed portfolios and at the time he said it made sense to talk about it for consistency in doctor licensing.

RELATED: P.E.I. Health Minister Doug Currie wants regional doctor licensing

Moyse said a regional college would be less flexible and there would be less political access.

“It’s just these are the rules. Take it or leave it,” he said.  

A joint college would also make it harder for patients to gain access to its office for the complaint process because it would probably be located off-Island, Moyse said.

“P.E.I. being small I doubt they’d be here.”

Moyse told the MLAs he wasn’t totally opposed to the idea of a Maritime or Atlantic government, but said a regional college would be difficult to manage from a patient’s point of view.

Health Minister Robert Henderson said he thinks a regional regulating body makes sense, but any decisions on that would be up to the colleges.

“As long as we get good competent physicians in the province and they’re able to deliver service we’d be supportive of that,” he said.