Unlicenced doctor ‘unique circumstance’ says NHA

  • Jan. 26, 2005 5:00 p.m.

A Masset man was somewhat surprised earlier this month when he went to the pharmacy to get a prescription filled and discovered the doctor who wrote it was no longer licenced to practice in BC.
But the Northern Health Authority says this incident was simply a licencing blip, and that unlicenced doctors have never worked on the islands.
The NHA’s Sue Beckermann said the problem occurs because locum physicians from outside BC get a licence to cover the time they plan to work here. Once they leave, the licence usually expires, because the licence costs money and they don’t buy one for a longer period of time than necessary, Ms Beckermann said.
The health authority keeps a constantly-updated list, shared with pharmacists, of physicians who are licenced to practice here, she explained.
That can cause a problem for a patient who goes to fill a prescription after the locum physician who wrote it has left the islands. The pharmacist checks to make sure the physician is licenced, and finds out they aren’t on the list.
“Just so people aren’t thinking we have unlicenced physicians working here, this was quite a unique circumstance,” Ms Beckermann said. “You should fill your prescription right away, and obviously most people do.”