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Physicians residing outside Canada: are you covered by CMPA?

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August Messenger 2022, Physician Assistants, Physicians | Posted August 11, 2022
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Are you a physician registered with CPSA and residing outside Canada? If so, you may not be eligible for medical liability protection through the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA).

Physicians residing abroad on a long-term basis are generally not eligible for CMPA assistance, regardless of whether the medico-legal problem or legal action was initiated in Canada or elsewhere. This applies in the event of either a regulatory complaint or a civil matter involving care.

The Regulation of the Health Professions Act s. 14(1) requires that a regulated member have professional liability coverage to an amount determined by CPSA Council ($10 million per incident). This coverage must be provided by CMPA or a company doing business in Alberta. Regulated members have told us they are unable to find any insurance companies willing to provide this coverage for those residing abroad. Under the Regulation, a lack of sufficient coverage invalidates the regulated member’s practice permit.

If you currently reside abroad and you have an active CPSA practice permit, please review your eligibility for liability protection directly with CMPA. In limited circumstances, where there is no practice of medicine involving Canadian jurisdiction, regulated members may be eligible for CMPA coverage under Category 20 (administrative medicine). However, if you are ineligible for CMPA assistance and unable to obtain the required private malpractice insurance, please contact us immediately at to discuss a change in your practice permit status.

CMPA eligibility and virtual care for physicians residing abroad

While virtual care has been around for years, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to its widespread use. This method for delivering care may make it seem simple enough to relocate outside Canada and continue seeing your patients virtually. However, physicians who reside abroad are generally not eligible for CMPA assistance. CMPA eligibility for physicians who provide virtual care/telehealth are outlined on the CMPA website.

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