The P.E.I. Medical Society and the P.E.I. College of Physicians and Surgeons are defending the process for approving doctors in the province.

Cyril Moyse - custom

Time for approval for medical licences is about the same on P.E.I. as it is for doctors in other parts of Canada, says College of Physicians and Surgeons registrar Cyril Moyse. (CBC)

Health Minister Doug Currie has expressed his frustration with the process, saying the delays are costing the province doctors who would otherwise be willing to practice.

College registrar Cyril Moyse said the college can approve a licensing application in a matter of days, though it can take longer for a doctor trained outside of Canada.

"It could take a little as two days and a maximum of two weeks. About once a year or two I compare the rates across the country and we're well up there in terms of speed for the rest of the country," said Moyse.

"Primarily it's an issue of trying to get the best quality physicians for Islanders. Our job is solely patient safety. "

Last year the college granted 17 full-time licences. Six of those were to foreign-trained doctors.

Moyse said a change to provincial legislation could speed licensing. He said new regulations were created a few years ago but have not been passed into law.

Dr. Dave Bannon, president of the Medical Society of P.E.I., also feels the situation on P.E.I. is little different than in other parts of Canada.

"I know that certain cases have been more problematic," said Bannon.

Occasionally if someone's credentials are from, say, a foreign jurisdiction, there's a delay in getting those institutions to send, and source-verify those credentials, but that's the circumstances for anybody or any college across the nation."

Moyse said he'd gladly meet with Currie to come up with a solution to streamlining doctor licensing on P.E.I.