N.L. doctors push back against change that would give government a say in licensing
In a recent interview on Democracy Now!, N.L. doctors and other health professionals have stated their opposition to Bill C-36, which would give the government the authority to approve or deny health professionals’ professional licenses. The health professionals’ reaction to the bill comes as an apparent reversal of their position toward the controversial Health Council of Canada Bill C-8.
In 2010, the Canadian Doctors for Medicare Coalition (CDMC) led a protest in Ottawa against the bill, which would have given a government regulatory role over physician-run clinics, hospitals and other health care centers.
“We are all concerned that the current Health Council of Canada Bill C-8 gives the government, in effect, veto power over what is a very essential part of our health care system,” said CDMC spokesperson Dr. Robert L. Walker.
In a statement of position issued by the CDMC, “[t]he members of the CDMC believe that it is unacceptable that the government would have this power over who is allowed to practice medicine in Canada, and we would like to continue to be a voice for those physicians, nurses and other health care professional who work in the public system.”
When contacted by The College Fix, Dr. Walker refused to specify what he meant by “in effect” veto power.
Lara E. Holmes, president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, said, “It is not a good idea to give government the right to deny licences to nurses, physicians and other health care workers at any time, at any place, and for any reason.”
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is a non-government organization.
“This means that if doctors, nurse practitioners or nurses are denied licences, they would have to fight their cases in the courts,” Holmes said.
“The doctor-patient relationship is unique, and governments are trying to take a more central role in regulating it than it’s been regulated in the past,” Holmes said.
In January, the Professional Association of School Nurses of Ontario wrote a letter about Bill C-36 in advance of the current Ontario election, which is expected to take place later this spring.
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