Department of Community Services

Professional Licencing

Professional Licensing & Regulatory Affairs

Yukon's Medical Profession Act and Regulations

Amendments to Yukon’s Medical Profession Act and Regulations

The Consumer Services Branch of Community Services licenses physicians in Yukon and the Yukon Medical Council makes decisions about physician licensing requirements, quality and competency of physicians and their services.

Here is an explanation of the changes that have been made to legislation, and why the changes are important.

- Consultation and Legislative Development
- Adopting National Standards
- Changes to Registration Categories
- Physicians and Public Safety
- Changes for Limited Licence Physicians
- Next Steps

Consultation and Legislative Development
Consultation took place with the public, local physicians, Yukon Medical Council, Yukon Medical Association and the Department of Health and Social Services. 

Consumer Services staff also consulted with physician regulators across Canada on the draft amendments, and on national physician licensing standards.

Adopting National Standards
National standards that already have consensus are included in the amendments and are available for use by the Yukon Medical Council.

For example, all Canadian jurisdictions except Nunavut have accepted the principle that a fully licensed physician in one jurisdiction should be eligible for a full licence in other jurisdictions. This national standard is reflected in the amendments that help Yukon become compliant with the labour mobility provisions of the Agreement on Internal Trade. 

As more national standards are developed, they will be added to the regulations so that Yukon remains current with the best administrative practices in Canada.

Changes to Registration Categories
Two new registration categories have been created, to facilitate registration under a number of circumstances.
• Short-term licences (for example, for physicians volunteering at a national event held in Yukon); and
• An emergency register so that physicians licensed and practising in other jurisdictions can begin work immediately in a short-term health emergency in Yukon.
Some current registers have changed name, for example, specialists are now under the Medical Specialist Register and no longer under the Limited Register.

An updated structure for all licensing categories is now in place, consistent with registration for physicians in other Canadian jurisdictions.

Physicians and Public Safety

As a result of the amendments, the Yukon Medical Council may share disciplinary information with other regulating authorities, when appropriate, to ensure public safety. The Council may also require continuing professional development for physicians who have gone through an investigation. However, complaints made under the Medical Profession Act remain confidential and information that identifies patients is never released.

Changes for Limited Licence Physicians
Special licences, now to be called limited licences, are designed to recruit international medical graduates to Yukon and to ensure these doctors are qualified and keeping pace with medical advancement.
Although the special licence program is not accepting applications at the moment, authority for the program remains in the act and regulations in case it is needed in the future.
Physicians trained outside Canada present a wide variety of experience, requiring individual assessment, varying amounts of supervision by a fully registered Yukon physician and sometimes additional training to prepare for and pass their national exams within five years and become fully licensed.
Changes to the legislation will help the Yukon Medical Council respond to these challenges as well as national standards being developed Canada-wide to help ensure public safety and quality medical care.

Next Steps
Consumer Services will continue to work with other Canadian regulators to complete the national standards designed to improve medical care for Yukon residents.