February 17, 2023 — Representatives from HealthCareCAN member organizations Nova Scotia Health Authority, IWK Health Centre, and Saskatchewan Health Authority joined HealthCareCAN President & CEO Paul-Émile Cloutier for a wide-ranging virtual discussion on health issues with the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
Topics discussed included how the federal government could streamline the immigration and credentialling processes to address health workforce challenges and enhance funding and support for health research and innovation in Canada.
Minister Fraser indicated he is prepared to work with health systems and healthcare organizations to ease workforce challenges and to ensure more internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) can get working in the system faster.
“HealthCareCAN’s Health Human Resources Advisory Committee has identified several barriers that IEHPs and employers face in the immigration and credentialling process, including time, costs, a lack of community supports, the duplication of requirements between the federal and provincial and territorial processes, and challenges with the Labour Market Impact Assessment,” Steve Ashton, Vice President, People and Organization Development at IWK Health Centre and co-chair of HealthCareCAN’s Health Human Resources Advisory Committee, said during the meeting. “Listening to both IEHPs and our colleagues across Canada, we see opportunities to work with federal and provincial governments to recruit much-needed talent by streamlining processes.”
HealthCareCAN, led by the work of its Health Human Resources Advisory Committee, has developed recommendations for short-, medium- and long-term action to help address health workforce challenges in Canada. In the short-term, HealthCareCAN is pressing the federal government to immediate action to:
- Better leverage immigration and international recruitment of healthcare workers to address existing shortages over the short- and medium-term.
- Provide greater supports to address factors that contribute to stress, anxiety and burnout among health care workers, and which make critical improvements to diversity, representation and equity in the health system.
- Support interprovincial/territorial coordination of education and licensing over the short- and long-term.
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