IN THIS ISSUE:
Message from the Registrar
Hearing Committee Disposition Regarding Dr. Moodley
After a lengthy process spanning over two years, the disciplinary process against Dr. Manivasan Moodley is now complete. The Hearing Committee issued its decision regarding the sanction and costs arising from its findings of professional misconduct against Dr. Manivasan Moodley. The findings of professional misconduct are set out in the Hearing Committee’s decision dated November 23, 2020.
The Hearing Committee is an independent panel comprised of a public member, three physicians, and a lawyer as Chair.
The penalty imposed by the Hearing Committee included a recovery of costs totalling $325.000. This has been incorrectly reported in some media outlets as a fine. In hearings of this nature, it is entirely typical for the deciding panel to apportion and attribute costs after consideration of the merits of the defence.
In this instance, the Hearing Committee unanimously determined that aspects of the defence brought by Dr. Moodley were unnecessary and without value. Specifically, the Committee found that some motions and witnesses presented by the defense were unnecessary, of no value as response to the allegations, and served to add undue stress to the two complainants. The Committee apportioned costs to Dr. Moodley in accordance with these findings.
New Virtual Care Standard
There is a marked increase in virtual medicine provoked largely by COVID-19 and the availability of government financial support for virtual visits. Virtual care has many advantages for patients and physicians but is not without its challenges.
The College’s Professional Standard Regarding Virtual Care was passed by Council at its May meeting. The standard instructs physicians that when offering virtual care to patients only in conjunction with in-person care, not as an absolute alternative to in-person care. As well, physicians must coordinate their clinical schedules so that patients have reasonable access to either in-person care or virtual care as required.
Regarding regulatory jurisdiction the standard states the following:
- Physicians licensed in Nova Scotia who deliver virtual care to Nova Scotians are subject to the regulation of the College, irrespective of where the physician is located.
- Physicians licensed in Nova Scotia who deliver care into other jurisdictions in Canada will be held to the standards of that jurisdiction, while subject to the regulation of this College.
- Physicians licensed elsewhere in Canada who deliver virtual care into Nova Scotia will be held to Nova Scotia standards but subject to the regulation of their licensing authority.
Physicians are encouraged to review the complete standard available on the College’s website.
Supporting Access to Care During COVID-19
It continues to be an extraordinary time for medicine in the province as we navigate our way out of the third wave of COVID-19. The College continues to respond in a timely manner with:
- Licensing of residents who volunteer for deployment as part of the COVID-19 response. These licensing decisions are expedited and without fee.
- Emergency licensure of retired or visiting physicians for deployment in the pandemic response are also expedited and without fees.
Scope of Practice for Physicians Deployed in Response to COVID-19
We wish to express our appreciation to all physicians who have been deployed by Nova Scotia Health or IWK to contribute to the pandemic response in ways outside their normal scope of practice. As the province moves through the third wave of the pandemic, physicians have continued to demonstrate leadership in their commitment to providing care.
These continue to be stressful times, with physicians raising their hands to help wherever needed. We wish to reassure physicians the College will not hold deployed physicians to practice within a scope strictly consistent with recent training and experience.
This approach applies to physicians privileged and working under the direction of Nova Scotia Health, the IWK (inpatient or outpatient settings), and/or the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s office. This may include, but is not limited to, work within COVID-19 primary assessment centres, case tracing and monitoring, provision of vaccinations, and COVID-19 testing as deployed by the health authorities.
Rest assured, if you are deployed by your Health Authority to work outside your normal scope of practice, be advised you will not face disciplinary measures from the College for practising outside your scope of practice.
We thank you for your service.
Report from Council & Annual General Meeting
The College Council composed of physicians and public representatives met virtually on May 28th. The Council approved the following professional standard:
The Council also welcomed Dr. Mary-Lynn Watson as a new member from District 5 and recognized the tremendous service of Dr. John Ross as his term on Council came to a close.
26th Annual General Meeting
The College’s Annual General Meeting was held virtually May 28th.
The College’s President, Dr. Martin Gardner reported to the AGM the College’s ongoing flexible and responsive approach to licensure as well as its continuing collaboration to improve access to care. Dr. Gardner’s full report can be found in the College’s annual report.
Dr. Gus Grant, the College’s Registrar & CEO presented his report on the activities of the College in 2020. Dr. Grant acknowledged the tremendous leadership of physicians in supporting public health directives to address COVID-19. Dr. Grant expressed his appreciation to those physicians and public members of the investigations and hearing committees who are tasked with the high-stakes adjudication of complaints. The Registrar’s full report is available in the College’s annual report.
Revised Licensing Policies
The following licensing policies were recently reviewed and approved by the College’s Registration Policy Committee. The Committee consists of physicians and public representatives of the College’s Council.
- Pandemic-related Exceptions to the Requirement for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II
- Currency of Practice Experience
- Pathway to Defined Licensure for International medical Graduates via a Practice Ready Assessment: Specialists and SEAP Status affiliates (with a primary specialty in Internal Medicine)
- Pathway to Defined Licensure for International medical Graduates via a Practice Ready Assessment – Family Medicine
- Examinations Required for a Postgraduate Training Licence
- A Guide to Closing your Medical Practice – a new resource developed by Doctors Nova Scotia, 2021