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Newly Graduated Canadian-trained PGTs Licences and Fees

The College is evoking measures available under the Medical Act, to ensure graduating PGTs receive licensure. The College has made every effort to align with legislated requirements while minimizing the impact on PGTs in this extraordinary time. This includes waiving fees for supervision, instituting basic minimal supervision, and waiving fees associated with the review of qualifications.

Heartfelt Condolences

It is with shock and disbelief that all of us at the College received the news of the tragic, senseless, and devastating loss of life in our province.

We acknowledge with thanks those medical professionals who were called upon to care for those involved and will be called upon in the days and months ahead to help Nova Scotians navigate the way forward.

We offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences.

Scope of Practice During COVID-19

In this state of emergency, physicians may be asked by their Health Authority to contribute to the pandemic response in ways outside their normal scope of practice.

To support the pandemic response and the physician deployment plans of the Health Authorities, 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 within the NSHA and IWK (inpatient or outpatient settings); and
  • Physicians within COVID-19 assessment centres, engaged in activities as deployed by the health authorities.

To restate: 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.

These are uncertain and stressful times, with physicians raising their hands to help wherever needed.
Thank you for doing so.

Dr. D.A. (Gus) Grant
Registrar and CEO, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia

Restricted licences for recently retired physicians – limited to pandemic response as directed by NSHA and IWK

Recently retired Nova Scotia physicians can apply for a restricted licence to help in the pandemic response at no cost.  This restricted licence is time-limited and specific to addressing the response to COVID-19 as directed by NSHA and IWK.

Basic Criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • Have had a full licence at the time of retirement in Nova Scotia (not provisional or restricted)
  • Have practised in Nova Scotia within the last 3 years
  • Plan to work within your scope of practice
  • Obtain Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) coverage
  • Provide consent to share your licensing information with the NSHA or IWK

This work is under the direction of NSHA and IWK. This licence is valid until June 30, 2020, and end date will be reviewed at that time.

College staff will work with you to review your licensing history and speak with you about your intention to work during the pandemic.

For questions contact

Telemedicine Resources

NSHA – Virtual Appointment Practice Guidelines & Implementation Guide

In response to the global pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization, implementation of these guidelines when providing care via telephone in your clinics is necessary:

  • Use professional judgement to determine whether patient consult via telephone is appropriate in a particular case.
  • Ensure the physical setting in which the care is provided provides for confidentiality.
  • Ensure patient safety by being aware of patient’s location and proximity of services
  • Request patient’s next of kin or alternate support person in the case of an emergency.
  • During telephone appointments we are unable to complete a physical assessment therefore, we are relying on the patient to provide us accurate information. Keeping this in mind, documentation is vital.
  • Call 911 or follow standard emergency protocols for an immediate emergency response as needed.

Please read the full Virtual Care Guideline document from NSHA.

NSHA – COVID-19 Virtual Visit Implementation Guide

This document is intended to:

  • Assist providers in developing a plan to integrate virtual visits into their practice;
  • Advise on the types of services where virtual visits should be considered under the current circumstances.

Please read the full Virtual Visit Implementation Guide.

Election to Council for District 5 – Deadline to Vote Extended until April 9

Due to the evolving circumstances around COVID-19, and to ensure adequate participation in the election, the deadline for receipt of ballots for the election to Council for District 5 has been extended to Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 8:30 a.m.

Physicians in this district will be contacted by email.

Important Notice Regarding Access to Controlled Medications

Last week, Health Canada’s Office of Controlled Substances issued a short-term exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in the public interest, made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to take effect in Nova Scotia, the directive of Health Canada required coordinated action from government, the NSPMP, and the regulatory colleges. The necessary steps have been taken. 

Effective immediately:

  • Pharmacists may extend and renew prescriptions of controlled drugs and substances;
  • Pharmacists may transfer prescriptions of controlled drugs and substances to other pharmacists;
  • Pharmacists may accept and practitioners may verbally provide prescriptions for controlled drugs and substances; and
  • Pharmacy employees may deliver controlled substances to patients (at their homes or an alternate location).

These changes will improve access to needed medications during this state of emergency while reducing unnecessary in-person contact with health professionals.

The specific changes implemented by the NSPMP are as follows:

1. Physician Prescribing

As per the March 19, 2020, Health Canada exemption, prescribers are permitted to issue verbal orders for monitored drugs. Physicians may e-prescribe within the DIS, fax or call in prescriptions of controlled substances to pharmacists.

To assist with verbal prescribing, under NSPMP, prescribers will not be required to complete or maintain a prescription form, however, will be required to relay appropriate content required for a prescription, and maintain a record consistent with their College requirements.

2. Pharmacists Authority to Prescribe Controlled Substances Expanded

As per the March 19, 2020, Health Canada exemption,  pharmacists may extend or renew a monitored drug prescription without the use of an NSPMP Prescription Form/duplicate pad, if it meets the requirements of a prescription and the conditions set out under Health Canada’s exemption s56(1) dated March 19, 2020.

As per the March 19, 2020, Health Canada exemption, pharmacists may dispense a monitored drug prescription extended or renewed by a Pharmacist, not written on an NSPMP Prescription Form/duplicate pad, if it meets the requirements of a prescription and the conditions set out under Health Canada’s exemption s56(1) dated March 19, 2020.

Pharmacists are requested to refer to the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists for all requirements relating to prescribing and dispensing.

Please also refer to Health Canada’s FAQs regarding this class exemption.