Premier Jean Charest began a mission to France on November 27 by attending the signing in Paris of four new mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) in the health sector. The arrangements cover physicians, pharmacists, dentists and midwives. They were signed by the heads of the Québec and French professional orders in these areas. In addition to Premier Charest, the signing was attended by France’s Minister of Health and Sports, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin.
Dr. Charles Bernard, Vice-President of the Collège des médecins; Premier Jean Charest; Roselyne Bachelot, French Minister for Health and Sport; and Dr. Michel Legmann, President of the French National Medical Council. Photo: Patrick Lazic
During the ceremony, held on the premises of the French Ministry of Health, the professional orders representing Québec and French nurses also committed themselves to sign an MRA by July 1, 2010.
The MRAs flow from the historic signing of an agreement between France and Québec on mutual recognition of professional competence, by Premier Charest and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, on October 17, 2008, in Québec City.
In the words of Premier Charest, “Québec and France, like all Western societies, are facing major challenges in the area of public health services. The signing of these MRAs allows us to look toward the future with optimism, as they greatly improve labour mobility in the health sector, in a context of globalization that also affects this sector. I am convinced that the MRAs will be enriching for both of our societies and represent another step toward the creation of a new economic space for Québec, essential for our economic prosperity.”
With the announcement of the three new mutual recognition arrangements, a total of 22 MRAs have now been signed by Québec and French professional orders and trades. As of 2010, citizens of Québec who practise a profession or trade covered by an MRA will be able to submit their file and have their professional competence recognized in France. Close to a hundred professional orders will have applied the joint procedure by the end of 2010, leading to the signing of MRAs that enable swifter, easier access to regulated professions and trades for people with globally equivalent competence.
France-Québec Understanding on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications