As Northern Ontario experiences a shortage of doctors to treat the rapidly spreading Covid-19 coronavirus, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) is granting Supervised Short-Duration Certificates to medical students who have yet to obtain a Canadian medical residency position. International medical graduates who have already passed the exam to practice medicine in Canada or who graduated from medical school within the past two years can now apply for one of these temporary licenses, valid in the Province of Ontario.

Very few doctors-in-training have applied for this license, but the majority or applicants are being accepted. To apply, candidates must provide the CPSO with a confirmation of employment from the hospital. Applications and questions should be directed to [email protected].

Requirements for eligibility are as follows:

  • The applicant must have completed a medical degree from an accredited medical school.
  • Applicant must have practiced medicine full-time within the previous two years (including medical school).
  • Applicants must provide confirmation of employment from one of the approved types of facilities listed in the Medicine Act (including public hospitals).
  • Every candidate must identify a supervisor.

The CPSO’s new policy is similar to that being implemented in New York City, where medical schools last month (March, 2020) began allowing students to graduate early and begin practicing medicine. Since then, more schools, including Harvard University have been graduating students early. Meanwhile, there has been a call throughout the United States to bring retired healthcare workers back into the front lines to help battle the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

More calls to action in Canada’s battle against coronavirus

The federal government is calling on Canadian manufacturers and businesses that can help the nation meet the current and unusual need for medical supplies.

Any businesses who fit one following descriptions are being asked to step forward and take part in the national response.

  • Companies in Canada who manufacture and/or have ready access to necessary inputs through their supply chain.
  • Businesses with equipment or facilities that can be rapidly re-tooled to meet medical needs, including for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies.
  • Companies with skilled workers who are able to respond and who could be available for work in the current crisis.

The Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 directly supports businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19.

Rates of Covid-19 in Ontario, Canada

Like most of the world, Canada began seeing and responding to rising numbers of Covid-19 infection in mid to late March. The Province of Quebec has been the hardest hit region of Canada so far, but Ontario is not far behind. As of April 11, there were 6,648 confirmed cases in Ontario, including 411 new cases reported that day. April 11 added  31 souls to Ontario’s coronavirus death count, bringing the total number of Covid-related deaths in the province up to 253.

In Quebec, by contrast, the total number of cases was up to 12,292, with 615 new cases for the day. Another 48 new deaths reported that day has now brought the total number of coronavirus deaths in Quebec to 289.

On Wednesday, Ontario Premiere Doug Ford reiterated his determination to increase testing in the province. Ontario is currently testing just 4,000 people a day, despite having the capacity to conduct 13,000 tests a day. Ford is determined to make testing available to all front-line health care workers and long-term care residents.

Further reading

ARIANNE Relocation has been helping students, families and professionals to relocate and settle in Canada for more than 20 years. Check out some of our more popular articles to learn more about moving to Canada.

PHOTO CREDIT: Doctors needed for Covid-19 in Ontario, Canada (Unsplash)