An official with Doctors Nova Scotia says there are holes in the PC Party's plan to lure Nova Scotians who go to medical school outside Canada back here to practise, even if the campaign pledge is well intentioned.
On Wednesday, Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie said 90 per cent of Nova Scotians who study medicine abroad would like to come home to work but are "put at the back of the line when they do that."
Kevin Chapman with Doctors Nova Scotia said medical school students from Canadian universities get priority when it comes to doing their medical residencies in Nova Scotia, and adding more people to that pool won't change the fact there's a set number of available spaces.
"A medical student who has graduated from Dal medical school, has gone through our system and then wants to do a residency at Dal, would now compete against a significant number of other students for the same number of positions," he said.
Chapman said Dalhousie's medical school fills about 110 spots for residents, mostly students from the Maritime provinces. There are five spots available for those who went to a medical school outside Canada.
Baillie has said foreign-trained Nova Scotians who want to come home would be more likely to practise in rural communities they have ties to, but Chapman isn't convinced.
Chapman said having more residency positions available and placing them outside metro Halifax would have a greater impact.
"Having those medical students who are now in residency working in communities and practising in communities for a couple of years is the best opportunity to recruit in these kinds of areas," he said.
CBC News asked the PCs for more information about their plan. Spokesperson Jenni Edge said the party would work with Dalhousie University, the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), Doctors Nova Scotia, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Health Authority to make it easier for qualified physicians who studied abroad to work in the province.
"We don't want to prescribe the answer," she said in an email.