Much needed new changes making it easier and faster for health care workers to register and practice in Ontario
TORONTO — The Ontario government is making additional changes that will break down barriers so that more health professionals can work in Ontario. Doing more to expand the province’s health workforce is a key part of the Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery to ensure people can continue to access the health care services they need, when they need them.
“These changes will bring more health care workers into our health system faster, helping to care for people when they need it,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Our government will work with all partners to ensure Ontario’s nurses, doctors, personal support workers and other health care professionals have the resources, support and guidance they need to enter the workforce and continue delivering the care Ontarians deserve.”
These changes proposed by the Ontario Ministry of Health, the College of Nurses of Ontario and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, will support recruitment efforts and make it faster and easier for health care professionals trained in Ontario, other provinces and internationally to register and practice in Ontario.
Changes that will come into effect immediately, include:
- Allowing internationally educated nurses to register in a temporary class and begin working sooner while they work towards full registration;
- Making it easier for non-practicing or retired nurses to return to the field by introducing flexibility to the requirement that they need to have practiced nursing within a certain period of time before applying for reinstatement; and
- Creating a new temporary independent practice registration class for physicians from other provinces and territories, making it easier for them to work for up to 90 days in Ontario.
Further changes, which come into effect on January 1, 2023, include:
- Requiring health regulatory colleges to comply with time limits to make registration decisions;
- Prohibiting health regulatory colleges from requiring Canadian work experience for the purpose of registration, with some exceptions such as when equivalent international experience is accepted; and
- Accepting language tests approved under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) to reduce duplicate language proficiency testing for immigrants to Canada.
Finally, on August 31, 2023, health regulatory colleges will be required to have a new category of registration that can be used to facilitate quicker registration to help safeguard the health workforce supply in the event of future emergencies.
“The CPSO thanks the Ontario Government for fulfilling our request to amend our regulations to allow for the creation of a new temporary class of registration that helps support mobility within Canada,” said Nancy Whitmore, MD, FRCSC, MBA, Registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. “There is still much to do however this is a good first step.”
“The Ontario Medical Association welcomes today’s announcement as a good first step to maximizing the health-care work force,” said Dr. Rose Zacharias, Presidentof the Ontario Medical Association. “We need more doctors and nurses to care for patients who are returning to the health-care system in large numbers.”