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Opioid Leadership Committee

Nova Scotia has launched the development of a multi-front action plan to address opioid drug misuse and overdose in the province.

Seven working committees have been set up to provide recommendations on issues ranging from increasing the availability of naloxone kits to securing funding for addiction treatment and education.

The College’s Registrar and CEO, Dr. Gus Grant was invited to chair the working group addressing opioid prescribing and pain management. Dr. Grant is also on the action plan’s leadership committee. The province aims to have action plans in place in February.

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Peer Review Update

The College will launch its new Peer Review program in the spring of 2017. Peer review is required under the 2011 Medical Act, the purpose being to engage member physicians in the conduct of quality improvement in practice.

A pilot of the new program was completed in November 2016, with 15 family physicians conducting reviews of one another’s practices. The College plans to review 80 family physician practices in 2017. The new program is set to incorporate additional specialties from 2018 onward.

The usual process will include an on-site review of a physician’s practice facility, record-keeping, patient care and approach to professional development. However, those physicians predicted to have less need for peer support may be first offered an off-site screening review.

All participants will receive feedback and support from a physician peer. In addition to giving practice-specific feedback, the program will provide physicians with education and resources intended to support ongoing independent practice improvement.

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College Council Report

The College’s governing Council composed of physicians and public members met December 9, 2016 and approved the following professional standards and guidelines:

The Council also approved the College’s 2017 operating budget.

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Investigations Committees

The College’s mandate is rooted in public safety and includes a responsibility to investigate complaints against physicians. Complaints are thoroughly examined by Investigations Committees, which are composed of practising physicians and members of the public.

Investigation Committees are focused on public safety while ensuring fairness and due process. Investigating complaints are typically high-stakes deliberations that often are stressful for all parties involved. In order to maintain its commitment to the thorough and timely disposition of complaints, a fifth Investigations Committee has been created to support the efficient review of complaints.

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Physician Licensing

The annual licence renewal period closed with a total of 2,596 physicians issued a 2017 medical licence to practise in Nova Scotia. Throughout the licence renewal period a dedicated email address and phone help line was available to answer any questions physicians had regarding the process.

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The Prescribing Course: Safe Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain

The prescribing course, Safe Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain will once again be offered in Halifax on January 28. The one day course covers opioid prescribing from assessment to tapering. Online registration available .

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