Govt. of Canada will invest close to $200 billion to improve health care worker wellbeing

The support will also help internationally-educated health care workers enter Canadian workforce

Govt. of Canada will invest close to $200 billion to improve health care worker wellbeing

Mark Holland, Minister of Health, has announced the Canadian government will provide $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”, which he said will improve health care workforce retention.

The plan will see stakeholders collaborate to find solutions to improve the well-being of Canada’s health workers, and “provide a roadmap to develop a health care system in which care is delivered with joy, compassion and meaning,” he said in a press release.

The news followed an October announcement in which the federal government, provinces and territories, committed to addressing health care workforce challenges, focusing on retention, domestic education supply and demand, foreign credential recognition, labour mobility and health workforce and data planning. Across the country, the health workforce experiences high levels of burnout, high patient loads, resource scarcity and stress.

“Addressing the needs of healthcare workers and the challenges they face is paramount in delivering better health outcomes for Canadians. These investments will help improve the well-being of dedicated health workers across Canada and ensure more internationally educated health professionals can put their skills and experience to work, benefitting Canadians from coast to coast to coast,” Holland said in the press release.

In addition, Holland announced initiatives designed to further support internationally educated health professionals, as he noted there are still challenges with respect to ensuring these professionals can put their skills and experience to work in the country.

In the past year, the government announced several initiatives including the use of category-based selection to facilitate faster entry to Canada. Provincial governments have also been implementing approaches to expedite foreign credential recognition processes and get skilled foreign workers integrated into the Canadian health workforce.

To provide extra support to immigrating health professionals, $1.49 million will be provided to the RCPSC to expand and expedite the specialist Practice Eligibility Route (PER) for International Medical Graduates, and $500,000 will be provided 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.

“The shortage of doctors, nurses and other health professionals is impacting access to health care for Canadians. The federal government’s investments in The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Medical Council of Canada are a step forward on helping internationally trained health professionals put their skills to work in Canada more quickly. This will help further support the health professionals that Canadians rely on,” said Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre.

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