Licensure

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?
  • It is my understanding that there has been progress toward National Licensure based on a recently received email.  Certainly having portability of Licensure, managed by the physician's "home" province or territory would make locum work, virtual care work and emergency services support a standard ability for all physicians in Canada.  It makes no sense to provide only a "virtual care" license without all of the other important supports and abilities as well.  By creating a National standard with local management, the functions of Colleges remains unchanged, they can report from one jurisdiction to another and it allows physician services to be as portable as patient services are under the Canada Health Act.