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NewsIntroducing the National Registry of Physicians: a groundbreaking solution to improve access to health care in Canada

Introducing the National Registry of Physicians: a groundbreaking solution to improve access to health care in Canada

June 15, 2023

As the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) continues to work collaboratively in navigating the challenges posed by the current health care crisis, the National Registry of Physicians (NRP) offers a bright prospect. This innovative platform will initially facilitate increased information sharing between medical regulators, streamlining the provision of medical care, and ensuring the highest standards of medical treatment for all Canadians. Join us on this exciting journey as we explore the benefits of the NRP.

In October 2022, the Government of Canada under the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program approved a funding request that will enable the MCC to establish the NRP. This innovative initiative received support from 12 provincial and territorial Medical Regulatory Authorities (MRAs), and we are thrilled that the funding was officially announced on March 15, 2023. Since then, we have received positive feedback from the medical community and inquiries about how this new registry aligns with the overall discussion on national or portable licensure. These inquiries highlight that the NRP is a significant milestone in the integration of health care data in Canada and will serve as an indispensable resource for MRAs, health care professionals, policymakers, and patients alike.

The NRP is currently under development, and the project team is receiving valuable input from a working group composed of 18 members from MRAs across the country. These insights are contributing to the creation of a national tool that will comply with provincial and territorial requirements while remaining accessible to all. The NRP will utilize critical data already gathered by provinces and territories, enhancing its usefulness by providing access across jurisdictions. Once completed, the NRP will be a collaborative information exchange tool managed by the MCC for the use of MRAs, with a focus on data management and security.

Planned for substantial completion at the end of March 2024, the NRP will be a comprehensive cloud-based database that provides information on all licensed physicians in Canada. It will include their credentials, education, and any disciplinary actions or sanctions taken against them. The NRP will eliminate the need to collate files from multiple MRAs, simplifying the decision-making process for interested parties and users, and facilitating the mobility of physicians.

This initiative will showcase the MCC’s commitment to providing excellence in ensuring safe patient care, while leveraging our extensive experience in collaborative information exchange databases. The MCC will serve as a dedicated agent for the provincial and territorial entities, facilitating smooth communication and the timely exchange of accurate data. The NRP will be a dynamic and evolving database, regularly updated to reflect changes in the medical profession. Initially, it will be accessible to authorized users, beginning with MRAs and expanding in the future to the public and other interested parties. Restrictions will be in place for certain sections of the NRP to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of information contained within.

The NRP represents an important step forward in the MCC’s ongoing efforts to enhance health care delivery in Canada. Through this initiative, the MCC is demonstrating its unwavering commitment to ensuring the highest quality of care for patients across the country. By providing a comprehensive and accessible database of physician information, the NRP will empower MRAs, health care professionals, policymakers, and patients to make more informed decisions, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes for all Canadians. The MCC is proud to lead this groundbreaking initiative and looks forward to the positive impact it will have on the Canadian health care system for years to come.

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Stay tuned for more information on the development of the NRP in our next edition of the ECHO.