It’s used to treat pain, nausea and a plethora of other symptoms,, but some medical cannabis users in Saskatoon and area will no longer be able to rely on one particular physician for their prescription.
National Access Cannabis (NAC) on discovered the doctor writing patient’s their prescriptions wasn’t licensed to prescribe in Saskatchewan.
“All physicians we work with are licensed medical doctors who are experts in the cannabis field. It was NAC’s understanding that this physician in question from Alberta was also licensed to prescribe via telemedicine in Saskatoon,” said the company in a statement to Global News.
NAC would not disclose how many patients it had to notify in the region to tell them their regular physician would no longer be taking appointments.
“There’s a general expectation that physicians when they provide telemedicine services will firstly be licensed in Saskatchewan if they’re dealing with Saskatchewan patients,” said Bryan Salte, the associate registrar and legal counsel for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.
“Secondly, that they will be able to provide that is as effective through telemedicine as it would be through in person contact.”
The revelation came after NAC did an internal audit. Officials said it is committed to a model of safe and responsible access for medical cannabis.
“We discovered a physician licensed by an out-of-province regulatory body had been prescribing to National Access Cannabis medical cannabis patients.”
The organization then turned to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan on their own free will for advice.
The college clarified it wasn’t them seeking out the information and cracking down on this doctor or the cannabis company.
“The knee-jerk reaction is the college must have done something,” Salte said.
“Quite often the information is misinformed.”
Physicians are permitted to prescribe and practice medicine in multiple jurisdictions. In Lloydminster, for instance, a doctor could treat patients on both sides of the border but they need a license to do so.
Salte also explained in some cases where telemedicine is the only option, like a psychologist conducting a consult with a patient in northern Saskatchewan, that’s often in the eyes of health care providers better than not providing any care.
However, when it comes specifically to cannabis – a short Skype interview isn’t suffice to assess patients for marijuana use nor is it appropriate, said Salte.
“That wouldn’t be consistent with the standards in Saskatchewan.”
Doctors who practice medicine in provinces they’re not licensed to do so are considered to be committing an offence. If the college catches wind of this, they notify it’s regulatory body that decides what action to take, if any against the physician.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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