Government of Canada Announces Supports to Improve Well-Being of Health Workers and Help Internationally Educated Health Professionals Enter the Workforce More Quickly

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Canada continues to face significant challenges related to our health workforce. High levels of burnout, high patient loads, resource scarcity and stress faced by dedicated health workers are common across the country.

The federal government, along with the provinces and territories, recently committed to take concrete actions to address health workforce challenges, like collaborating on retention issues, undertaking a study of the education and training supply and demand for key health professions, reducing the time it takes for internationally educated health professionals to join the health workforce, and increasing the sharing and standardization of health workforce data.

Building on those commitments, today, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced $3.5 million over 5 years to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) to develop a National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being to help improve health workforce retention. This plan will bring together a diverse group of partners to identify, develop and prioritize solutions to improve the well-being of Canada’s health workers as well as provide a roadmap to develop a health care system in which care is delivered with joy, compassion and meaning.

There have been significant advancements to increase the number of health professionals immigrating to Canada. However, there are still challenges with respect to ensuring these professionals can put their skills and experience to work once they are here.

To further support internationally educated health professionals, Minister Holland also announced the following initiatives:

  • $1.49 million to the RCPSC to expand and expedite the specialist Practice Eligibility Route (PER) for International Medical Graduates. This project would allow candidates to apply to various medical regulatory authorities (MRAs) for the opportunity to obtain a provisional licence and be able to provide care in that jurisdiction’s health care system while proceeding with the practice assessment phase of the PER. It is also expected to reduce the intake and processing times for international medical graduates who applied through the PER, from 6 to 24 months down to 3 to 4 months; and
  • $500,000 to the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) to advance the Expansion of Practice Ready Assessments and the Development of an Alternative Pathways for International Medical Graduates, aiming to better understand the barriers to existing programs as well as the requirements and capacity at a national level to assist with integrating international medical graduates into the Canadian health workforce.

The Government of Canada will continue working with these organizations as well as other partners and provinces and territories to improve retention, increase recruitment, and advance efforts so that health workers and internationally educated health professionals can work across Canada more quickly.

Source : Canada