News release

New Medical Act Makes Regulation More Efficient

A new Medical Act introduced today, May 4, will open the door for doctors to more efficiently regulate their profession through the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The college protects Nova Scotians and their families. The new act will support this by establishing clear requirements for registration and renewal of registration, clarifying investigative processes, and ensuring all regulatory processes are designed with the public in mind.

"The purpose of the Medical Act is to guarantee that all Nova Scotians receive the best possible care from highly qualified and trained doctors," said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald. "By having a current and up-to-date act, physicians can continue to provide better health care for Nova Scotian families."

This is the first significant update to the Medical Act since it was introduced in 1996.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons consulted with stakeholders ensure the new act was in the best interest of Nova Scotians. The act allows the college to regulate the profession to protect and serve the best interests of the public.

"Implementation of the new Medical Act will be good for all Nova Scotians," said Dr. Cameron Little, registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia. "The new act will ensure that regulation of the medical profession will continue to meet the high standards expected by the public and the medical profession."

The proposed changes fall into three categories: administrative, professional practice and disciplinary. Key changes include:

  • Reducing registration barriers for physicians licensed to practice in other provinces, in accordance with the Agreement on Internal Trade
  • Facilitating registration for doctors trained in other countries, in compliance with the provincial Fair Registration Practices Act
  • Harmonizing registration and complaints processes with those of other jurisdictions
  • Clarifying what falls within the scope of practice of medicine and allowing for process development to permit other health care providers to engage in designated aspects of the practice of medicine
  • Ensuring processes for filing complaints are clear and fair for all involved
  • Streamlining processes to allow the college to operate more efficiently.

The proposed changes are intended to ensure that Nova Scotians continue to receive the best quality care from their physicians.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A new Medical Act introduced today (May 4th) will allow doctors to more efficiently regulate their profession and support government's commitment to provide better health care for families.

Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald says the legislation will modernize and update the existing act to streamline processes.

Changes to the act make registration and complaint processes more efficient, reduce barriers for physicians licensed to practice in other provinces and facilitate licensing for doctors trained in other countries.

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Media Contact:

Nicole Watkins Campbell
Health and Wellness 902-424-8840 E-mail: