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Poilievre calls for standardized testing for doctors, nurses


Conservative Leader Pierre Polievre is calling for a standardized testing process across the country that would speed up the approval of licenses for doctors and nurses.

Polievre said his proposed “blue seal” testing standard would allow qualified health professionals to work in any state or territory that would volunteer to be part of the program.

He described his plan at a press conference today, saying the model, which allows professionals to take a test and receive a response within 60 days, would address the shortage of Canadian health professionals such as family doctors and emergency nurses.

Under the existing licensing system, each province and territory has its own processes for becoming licensed as a doctor or nurse.

Polievre says this means that professionals from one province can’t necessarily work in another, while new immigrants also struggle to get the necessary permits.

He says the “blue seal” model is based on the “red seal” standard for skilled workers in regulated trades, which include carpenters, heavy equipment operators and industrial electricians.

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

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

Polievre detailed his proposal ahead of the federal government’s latest budget bill, which will be presented to parliament on March 28.

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

— By David Friend in Toronto

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