All medical regulatory bodies in Canada have some form of standard or policy on licensure requirements for physicians providing telemedicine/telehealth services. There is variability across Canada. Eight jurisdictions have some requirement for registration or licensure for out-of-province physicians to provide telemedicine services to patients located within their boundaries. Saskatchewan offers a specific telemedicine license, and New Brunswick enables physicians from other jurisdictions to provide telemedicine services to its residents through a Telemedicine Regulation. Four provinces (BC, Ontario, NS and Newfoundland and Labrador) do not specify that a physician licensed outside the province must be licensed in their jurisdiction to provide telemedicine. FMRAC has a policy on telemedicine that sets out eight recommended actions for the licensing bodies in respect of the provision of telemedicine within and across boundaries. The Canadian Medical Protective Association cautions physicians to be aware of the various requirements as this could be a factor in the event of a legal action.
- How can the ability to provide medical care across provincial/territorial boundaries be facilitated by the regulatory bodies?
- Are there ways this can be done without compromising the regulatory bodies’ ability to assure that physicians are practising competently and maintaining their continuing professional development?