Internationally-trained doctors will have their applications to live and work in Nova Scotia processed within a few days under a new stream announced by immigration authorities in Nova Scotia.
In a news conference held on February 22, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Immigration, Lena Diab, announced that the new Nova Scotia Physician stream “targets family doctors and specialists from countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Ireland.”
Diab added that “it will be easier and faster because this stream targets family doctors from countries with recognized training equivalencies with the College of Family Physicians of Canada.”
Applicants are already deemed to have been assessed for education, language ability, certification, and credential recognition, allowing the province to eliminate the duplication of having applicants prove these skills and credentials all over again.
“It cuts red tape and paperwork and has a significantly reduced processing time,” stated Diab. “We can process an application under this new stream in just five to ten days.”
The Nova Scotia Physician stream simplifies the overall process for General Physicians (NOC 3112) and Specialist Physicians (NOC 3111) with signed approved opportunities with the Nova Scotia Health Authority or the IWK Health Centre. A job offer is required under the Nova Scotia Physician Stream.
In order to be approved and begin practicing in Nova Scotia, applicants must first apply to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) through the Physician stream. Approved nominees, along with their spouse or common-law partner and dependents, may then apply to the government of Canada for permanent resident status.
Processing times for the second stage are not yet known; however, Minister Diab pointed out during the news conference that the province processed its very first application through this stream last week. Dr. Jamie Tribo, who currently lives in Virginia, plans to practise family medicine in Cape Breton starting this spring. This quick landing points toward a smooth and relatively quick application process at the federal stage.
Dr. Lynne Harrigan, vice-president of medicine with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, which helped develop the stream, has lauded its potential.
“That’s differentiating from weeks and years, which it has been in the past,” she said. “For a lot of people it has discouraged them from moving forward. So this really has pulled all the red tape away.”
The health authority is setting an initial target to recruit 12 international doctors through the stream annually. Overall, the health authority says it needs to hire 110 physicians a year.