May 1, 2023
Starting today, physicians primarily practicing in Atlantic Canada can now more seamlessly obtain licenses to practice in all four provinces via the Atlantic Registry, creating greater ease of mobility for physicians within the region when opportunities arise.
Announced in February 2023 by the Council of Atlantic Premiers in partnership with Registrars from all four Atlantic Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, the Atlantic Registry is the first multi-jurisdictional licensing model of its kind in Canada. The registry has been created to reduce the administrative burden for physicians based in Atlantic Canada to practice across all provinces in the region by streamlining the process and reducing unnecessary red tape associated with obtaining licenses in each province.
Under this new initiative, physicians holding a general registration with their home college of physicians and surgeons (in either New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador) can opt-in to the Atlantic Registry by completing a request form through their home college and paying a registration fee of $500. Previously, physicians had to submit a separate full application to each provincial college, including a registration fee, to obtain a license to practice in that province.
For Prince Edward Island, having more physicians in the region licensed to practice in the province via the Atlantic Registry creates a greater opportunity to recruit locums from within the region who could more quickly fill vacant positions temporarily, as well as provide coverage when a physician takes vacation or is on leave. For Islanders, this means better continuity in access to care.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island, Health PEI, the Recruitment and Retention Secretariat and the Medical Society of Prince Edward Island have been collaborating over the past few weeks to ensure a coordinated approach to inform and connect physicians who obtain a PEI license with opportunities to practice in the province.
The four Atlantic colleges – College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island, College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia – came to agreement on the criteria for licensing physicians under the Atlantic Registry, advancing the spirit and intent of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
For more information about the Atlantic Registry, including eligibility criteria, visit: College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island.
“The Atlantic Physicians Registry presents a tremendous opportunity for Prince Edward Island, and all of Atlantic Canada, as it will now be easier for physicians in the region to practice across all four provinces, providing better access to care for residents. It’s important that we continue to work together with our health care partners and Atlantic counterparts and be nimble in our efforts to find creative solutions to the challenges faced by our health care system, allowing us to improve access to high-quality care and strengthen our health care workforce.”
– Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King
“This is a transformative time in health care as our population continues to grow and we look at creative and innovative ways to provide better access to care for Islanders. It has been crucial to have solution-based discussions with partners and governments at all levels to ensure we continue to bridge the gaps. By working together to reduce current administrative barriers, the Atlantic Registry will help bridge those gaps that we are currently facing in our health care workforce and make it easier for physicians to come practice in our province.” – Minister Mark McLane, Department of Health and Wellness
“The College of Physicians and Surgeons of PEI is pleased the Atlantic Registry is now available to Atlantic physicians. The Registry will remove administrative barriers, facilitate the mobility of Atlantic physicians and improve access to healthcare for Islanders. This internationally recognized initiative is the result of a cooperative effort between the four Atlantic Colleges, Governments, Health Authorities and Medical Associations. I wish to extend a special thanks to the College staff of all four Provinces who worked hard to make the Atlantic Registry a reality.” – Dr. George Carruthers, Registrar for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island
“Making it easier for physicians to practice anywhere within Atlantic Canada gives all provinces and health authorities more flexibility, helping to ensure the stability of services and care. Health PEI is looking forward to the opportunities this change will bring for our health care system as we work every day to staff services for Islanders.” – Dr. Kathie McNally, Chief Medical Officer, Health PEI
“We know flexibility and mobility are important to physicians – both for retention and to attract new graduates who are looking for variety before they set roots. We hope this new feature will make Atlantic Canada an even more attractive and desirable place to work.” – Dr. Krista Cassell, President, Medical Society of Prince Edward Island.