Government helping 6600 internationally educated healthcare professionals work in Canada
January 15, 2024 Winnipeg, Manitoba Employment and Social Development Canada
Across Canada, Canadians are facing labour shortages and the demand for qualified workers continues to grow. Long wait times and difficulty finding a family physician are far too common for people across the country. That is why the Government of Canada is investing to speed up accreditation for internationally educated health professionals (IEHP).
Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, announced up to $86 million in funding to 15 organizations across Canada to increase capacity for foreign credential recognition of approximately 6600 internationally educated health professionals. This investment will support highly educated and skilled immigrants receive proper recognition for their international credentials. Through this investment, for example, internationally trained midwives will be able to take their exams virtually, even before they arrive in Canada.
The 15 funded projects stretching across the country will:
- Reduce barriers to foreign credential recognition for IEHPs by improving recognition processes, simplifying steps in credential recognition and offering increased access to practice in the field.
- Provide IEHPs with relevant Canadian work experience in their intended fields, while incorporating wrap-around supports such as childcare and transportation costs, as well as mentoring and coaching.
- Facilitate labour mobility between jurisdictions in Canada for health professionals and IEHPs to reduce the systemic and administrative barriers for health professionals who wish to work in another jurisdiction in Canada.
Today’s announcement builds on the commitment made by the Government of Canada with provinces and territories during the October 2023 Health Ministers’ Meeting, to take concrete actions to address challenges facing Canada's health workforce including reducing the time it takes for IEHPs to join the health workforce. Funding will go directly to key occupations like nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, laboratory technicians and respiratory therapy.
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program works with provinces, territories, regulatory bodies and other organizations by funding projects to support faster and more efficient credential recognition systems with the goal of growing Canada’s economy, creating quality employment and promoting a more sustainable health workforce.
“Honouring the professional credentials of newcomers is a compassionate and effective component of expanding Canada’s workforce. The Foreign Credentials Recognition speeds up the accreditation for 6600 people, and is not only the right thing to do, but one of the best ways we can fill labour gaps, strengthen our healthcare system and grow our economy
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault
“Health care workers deliver the care that Canadians need. By bringing in new workers and retaining those who are already there, we can help relieve the labour challenges in our health care system. This federal funding supports our government’s work with provinces, territories, and stakeholders to have more health care workers enter Canada’s workforce and to streamline that process. Together, this will improve our health care system so Canadians can get the care they need and deserve.”
– Minister of Health, Mark Holland
“The Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry is thrilled to receive this support from the federal government to fund the development and testing of a new program to speed the qualification and licensing of dentists trained elsewhere in the world so they can practice in Canada. With the government’s recent introduction of the new Canadian Dental Care Plan, and its policy of increasing immigration into Canada, there are plans to both help Canada’s poorest and most marginalized people gain access to dental care, and to integrate internationally trained dentists into Canada’s health care workforce. Canada’s dental schools are excited to be taking the lead in developing new means to enable these international dentists to practice and so help fulfill the dental care needs of all Canadians, including new Canadians”.
-Jim Lai, President of Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry
Canada’s health care sector continues to see high levels of job vacancies, with a total of 90,000 unfilled positions in health occupations in the second quarter of 2023.
Half of newcomers to Canada have a bachelor’s degree or greater. Even with educational achievements, skilled newcomers in all sectors face higher unemployment rates than people born in Canada and are less likely to work in regulated occupations for which they have studied.
With immigration expected to reach record-high levels (500,000 by 2025), it is more important than ever to increase supports to skilled newcomers so that they can fully use their skills, experience and talents.
Budget 2022 announced an additional $115M over five years starting in 2022-2023 and $30M ongoing for the Foreign Credential Recognition Program, with a focus on supporting the labour market integration of skilled newcomers into the health sector. This is in addition to the Program’s base funding of $27.3M per year.
Budget 2023 outlined the Government of Canada’s plan to invest more than $200 billion over ten years to improve health care for Canadians, including $46.2 billion in new funding for provinces and territories, and a focus on efforts to support the health workforce.
This funding complements other investments from the Government of Canada to support newcomers so they can participate in Canadian society to their full potential. For example, through the Settlement Program managed by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, the Government of Canada funds services that help newcomers settle and adapt to life in Canada, including employment-related services and support with foreign credential recognition. A Call for Proposals for the Settlement and Resettlement Assistance Programs was recently launched, and will close at the end of January. More info can be found at: cic.gc.ca/CFP.
- Government of Canada launches call for proposals to help internationally educated professionals work in Canadian healthcare
- Funding: Foreign Credential Recognition Program
- Foreign Credential Recognition Program
- Federal, provincial and territorial statement on supporting Canada's health workforce
- Health workforce
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault
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