Foreign physicians hit by temporary worker program

Ottawa’s bid to crack down on abuse of the temporary foreign worker program is stymieing efforts to bring in a class of highly skilled labourers Canada badly needs: doctors.

Physician recruiters across the country say the red tape and fees now associated with the program are causing major headaches for international physicians who want to fill vacancies in Canada’s hospitals and medical offices, especially in rural communities where doctor shortages are common.
To bring in a doctor under the TFW program, recruiters first have to secure a labour market impact assessment (LMIA), formerly known as a labour market opinion, from Ottawa, verifying there is a shortage of doctors in that location and that no qualified Canadians are available to fill it.
Ms. Mavrinac, the Essex County recruiter, said there are 16 American doctors who currently cross the border to work in her area under the TFW program. She is in the midst of processing applications for two more American doctors who want to commute from the U.S., after which she will not be accepting any others, unless they plan to relocate to Canada.

“I can’t say to these doctors with any kind of confidence that when their work permit expires they’ll get another,” she said. “Because the rules keep changing.”

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No mention in the article of whether or not the “foreign physicians” have to pass Canadian exams to practise — or at least so if they from third world countries. I am a little concerned about the US too, given their “affirmative action” work on entry to universities and medical school.