A message from the Registrar
After three years of navigating COVID-19, we’re beginning to learn how to live with it as a part of our daily lives. However, we continue to see many challenges and uncertainties in our healthcare system, and we can all feel the lingering effects the pandemic has had on our own health and wellness. I want to reinforce how grateful I am for your tireless efforts in ensuring your patients have and continue to receive safe, high-quality care.
– Dr. Scott McLeod, CPSA Registrar
Regulated members are in the best position to assess the risks within their own practices and medical clinics and to use your judgment in protecting patients, staff and yourself from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
CPSA has prepared guidance to assist physicians, physician assistants and community medical clinics in understanding requirements for preventing infections within their professional settings.
Other COVID-19 resources
- Alberta Health: COVID-19 information for Albertans
- Alberta Health Services: Information for AHS staff & health professionals
- Alberta Health Services: Information for community physicians
- Government of Canada: COVID-19 health product industry
- CMPA: Virtual care FAQs and resources
- CMPA: Physician obligations and rights in the context of COVID-19
- CMPA: Exemptions from COVID-19 requirements
COVID-19 FAQSAll FAQs
Can medical clinic staff be required to wear masks?
Employers can require their staff to continue wearing masks and any other necessary PPE while working within the clinic as part of a workplace occupational health and safety policy aimed at protecting coworkers, patients and volunteers.
Can I ask my patients and caregivers to wear a mask?
Yes, however blanket policies that exclude patients from receiving in-person care for failing to wear a mask cannot be instituted. Similarly, care cannot be refused to a patient or caregiver who cannot, or will not, wear a mask.
Physicians, physician assistants and clinic staff are encouraged to educate patients why a mask is recommended (e.g., protecting other sensitive patients in the clinic) and encourage masking by making masks readily available. Where individuals cannot, or will not, wear a mask as requested, clinic staff should pursue other options for providing care (e.g., having the patient wait outside, schedule a virtual assessment, booking them as the first or last appointment of the day to limit contact with staff). Understanding the patient’s perspective, answering questions and problem-solving together will enable the patient to appropriately navigate their own care and use of a face mask.
If a patient becomes physically or verbally abusive to a physician, physician assistant, clinic staff or other patients, they may be asked to leave the premises. Physicians are not expected to tolerate this type of behaviour and have the right to immediately discharge patients who act in this manner from their practice under the Terminating the Physician-Patient Relationship standard of practice. If a patient poses a safety risk to you, your staff or other patients, contact your local police department for assistance.
CPSA emergency register
As per clause 9(2) of the Physicians, Surgeons, Osteopaths and Physician Assistants Profession Regulation, CPSA Registrar, Dr. Scott McLeod, activated an Emergency Register on March 19, 2020.
The CPSA Emergency Register allows physicians currently registered in another province or territory to temporarily work in Alberta during emergency circumstances. This registration is free, and there is no formal registration process. Here is our criteria to apply:
Interested physicians must:
- be on the general register (and unrestricted) in another Canadian jurisdiction;
- send us a Certificate of Professional Conduct (CPC) from the jurisdiction(s) they are currently registered in (verbal confirmation from their College will be acceptable);
- confirm they have CMPA membership;
- submit a piece of government-issued photo ID; and
- agree to the terms outlined in the CPSA Registration Understanding and Acknowledgement for the Emergency Register, which CPSA will send you once you email us at email@example.com.
The CPSA Emergency Register expires after 60 days. Physicians may renew beyond this point.
Lastly, the CMPA will extend assistance to physicians who are providing care outside of their usual field of practice or in a different province.
Physicians who are interested and meet the criteria can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.