Canada has seen labour shortages across many industries, especially the healthcare sector, for the past few years. However, since the beginning of 2023, the country has implemented new measures to address this issue. The Canadian government has implemented various programs and initiatives to increase the immigration of skilled healthcare workers worldwide.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of healthcare workers and their critical role in the healthcare system. The pandemic has also created an urgent need for additional healthcare workers to respond to the increased demand for services and to support vaccination efforts. By bringing in skilled healthcare professionals, Canada is not only addressing the shortage of healthcare workers but also benefiting from the skills and experience these individuals bring to the country.
Almost the entire country is making significant efforts to acquire healthcare professionals in their respective regions. The following are some of the recent significant measures/policies implemented by Canada:
In March 2023, the Nova Scotia College of Nursing planned to speed up the application process for international nurses. Healthcare professionals licensed in the Philippines, India, Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand can be eligible to be licensed in Nova Scotia upon completing and passing the entrance exam. This significantly boosts the time between the examination and being able to work in the province’s healthcare system, as it takes away additional steps. It is reported that international nurses can be approved to work in just a few weeks rather than an entire year.
The province has also sent invitations to Express Entry applicants to participate in the Healthcare Professionals Immigration Pilot. Those with a job offer in addition to the invitation are eligible to apply for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot or the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program.
In March 2023, Canadian healthcare officials travelled to the Philippines for a recruitment mission. Their goal was to meet professionally licensed healthcare workers and screen candidates willing to move and work in Manitoba. Health officials believed the mission would address the province’s labour issues.
The College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba also plans to speed up the application process for international nurses. By this year, they will shorten the process from twelve weeks to eight (or ten) weeks.
Starting in May 2023, international nurses interested in working for British Columbia’s healthcare system will undergo a shortened process when assessing their credentials. BC hopes to take months off the process, which generally takes up to two years. In addition, nurses will be eligible for up to CAD 16,000 each in bursaries, providing them with additional support during the licensing process. Lastly, nurses will be allowed to test for several positions simultaneously rather than having to apply one by one. This speeds up the selection process while also reducing application fees.
Overall, British Columbia is spending approximately CAD 1.2 million for this measure to address their ongoing labour issues.
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) has proven to be a massive success. Since introducing the pilot, the country has welcomed thousands of skilled workers and provided smaller communities with additional support. With the established success, the RNIP can become a prominent pathway for internationally skilled workers, including healthcare professionals. This pathway will significantly help address labour shortages in the healthcare sector, especially within smaller communities.
More to Come for Healthcare Workers
Canada will continue to announce and implement more measures to address the country’s labour issues. Other provinces, including Ontario, Alberta, and New Brunswick, have proposed new policies that will help improve immigration for healthcare workers this year. Follow us on social media to stay updated with the upcoming announcements.
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