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College News

New Nova Scotia Medical Act

The new provincial Medical Act came into effect January 1. With the proclamation of this legislation there have been a number of changes in licence categories.The names of certain categories of licence have also changed. Changes to the type of licence physicians hold do not change their scope of practice. There are now three registers maintained at the College: 1. Full Medical Register: Only physicians with a full licence, entirely free of restrictions or conditions, are maintained on the Full Medical Register. The only exception is when physicians have a voluntarily restricted their scope of practice. 2. Conditional Register: The Conditional Register […]

New Peer Review Program to be Developed

In 2015, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (CPSNS) will transition from its current peer assessment process, the Nova Scotia Physician Achievement Review (NSPAR), to an enhanced peer review program. Physicians who are in the process of completing an NSPAR review are expected to complete the process to the satisfaction of the program and the College. Upon completion of these reviews, NSPAR will cease to operate. For the past 10 years, the NSPAR program has provided Nova Scotia physicians with valuable feedback about their practices. The rich source of knowledge and evidence provided by the program will be used to inform the next iteration of peer review at the College. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta deserves […]

New Policy Regarding the Authorization of Marijuana for Medical Purposes

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia has issued a new policy to help physicians understand their responsibilities pursuant to the new marijuana for medical purposes regulations. The policy is as follows: The College considers the authorization of marijuana for medical purposes to be a clinical act and an insured service. Physicians must not bill patients directly for services related to the authorization of marijuana for medical purposes, which includes the completion of any required forms. Physicians must only authorize the use of marijuana for medical purposes in the context of a bona fide patient‐doctor relationship. Physicians may only authorize the use of marijuana for medical purposes when in direct, in-person contact with their patients.

New College President

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia is pleased to announce that Dr. James MacLachlan of Westville has been appointed College President for the 2014-2016 term. Dr. MacLachlan, a family physician currently on staff at the Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow had previously served as Chief of Staff at the Annapolis Royal Hospital. Dr. MacLachlan was first elected to Council in 2008. Elections were held for 2 seats in District 5 (Halifax County). Dr. Elizabeth Mann, a Halifax internist and past College President, was re-elected and Dr. Trevor Topp, a Halifax surgeon, was elected. Dr. Martin Gardner, a Halifax cardiologist, was appointed as the Dalhousie University Medical School representative to Council. The […]

19th Annual General Meeting

The 19th Annual General Meeting of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia will be held at the College offices, Suite 5005, 7071 Bayers Road, Halifax, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 23, 2014.The Council of the College will present the Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2013 and highlight a number of initiatives undertaken by the Council on behalf of its membership. To ensure that adequate seating is available, those wishing to attend are asked to contact Ms. Carolyn MacDonald by Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at: Tel: (902) 421-2209, Fax: (902) 422-7476 or e-mail:

New Monitored Drug Prescribing Policy for Physicians in NS – Effective June 1st

On March 21st, the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia approved a new policy regarding the prescribing of monitored drugs. The policy is as follows: When caring for patients in episodic, urgent or emergent care settings, physicians must review the patient’s drug profile as maintained by the NSPMP prior to prescribing narcotics or any controlled drugs or substances. This policy is effective June 1st, 2014. Through the NSPMP eAccess web application, prescribers and pharmacists can quickly access the most recent 18 months of prescribing history.