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Foreign-trained Health Care Providers Help Increase Access to Care

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Foreign-trained Health Care Providers Help Increase Access to Care

McGuinty Government Improves Access To Health Professionals

Ministry of Health

Ontario is easing the way for more internationally trained health care providers to practise in the province.

Legislation passed today - Increasing Access to Qualified Health Professionals for Ontarians Act- will help ensure that all Ontarians have access to adequate numbers of qualified, skilled and competent health professionals.

The new Act changes the mandate of all 22 health regulatory colleges and recognizes them as key partners with the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in providing health human resources in the province. The health regulatory colleges are responsible for setting the entry-to-practice requirements and registering health care providers.

The new legislation is part of a larger plan to remove barriers for internationally trained doctors. As of December 1, 2008, doctors practicing in other provinces and the U.S. will be fast-tracked to begin working in Ontario through a new College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) registration process. Ontario and the CPSO will continue to work on other changes recommended by Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Laurel Broten in her Report on Removing Barriers for International Medical Doctors.

Quick Facts

  • More than 5,000 internationally trained doctors are practicing in Ontario, representing almost a quarter of the physician workforce.
  • Approximately 630 international medical graduates (IMGs) are currently in residency training.
  • For the fourth straight year, more certificates were issued to IMGs than to Ontario graduates by CPSO.
  • CPSO also reports the number of full practice certificates issued to IMGs this year was the highest in 20 years, marking the seventh straight year of an increasing number of certificates for internationally trained doctors

Additional Resources


“Ontario is a leader in Canada in providing opportunities for internationally trained doctors to practise. This new legislation and Laurel Broten’s plan will improve Ontarians’ access to quality family health care by removing barriers that keep foreign-trained doctors from practising in the province.”

David Caplan

Health and Long-Term Care Minister

“This new legislation acknowledges the vital role regulatory colleges play in helping the government implement solutions to the growing health professional supply needs. Today we have taken an important step forward in helping to further reduce barriers for internationally trained doctors.”

Laurel Broten

MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore



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