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Poilievre calls for standardized tests for doctors and nurses


Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is calling for a nationally standardized testing process that would speed up licensing approvals for doctors and nurses.

Poilievre says his proposed “blue seal” testing standard would allow qualified medical professionals to work in any province or territory that volunteers to be part of the program.

He outlined his plan at a press conference today, saying a model that would allow professionals to take a test and get a response within 60 days would solve Canada’s ongoing shortage of healthcare professionals , such as family physicians and emergency room nurses.

Under the current licensing system, each province and territory has its own processes for obtaining a doctor’s or nurse’s license.

Poilievre says that means professionals in one province can’t necessarily work in another region, while new immigrants also struggle to get the necessary approvals.

He says the Blue Seal model is modeled after the Red Seal standard for skilled workers in regulated trades which include carpenters, heavy equipment operators and industrial electricians.

“It’s common sense: if you can do the job, you should get it,” he added during a press conference at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa on Sunday.

“If we had all the doctors who are here in Canada today, but trained abroad, working in our health care system, we could cut our doctor shortage in half.”

Poilievre detailed his proposal ahead of the federal government’s latest budget plan, which will be presented to Parliament on March 28.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 19, 2023.

— By David Friend in Toronto

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