Utilizing internationally trained talent for healthy communities
13 September 2021
We the under-signed civil society organizations and groups call on federal party leaders to address long-standing licensure and employment barriers facing internationally educated health professionals as your commitment to Canadians in the 2021 federal election.
As you are aware Canada’s healthcare system is facing a multifaceted crisis.
- Healthcare workers are burnt out and exhausted due to their pandemic response efforts.
- The needs of our healthcare system are growing as our population ages.
- Today we are facing shortages of health professionals, and that is projected to become more severe in the years ahead.
- Internationally Educated Health Professionals (IEHPs) already are a core part of our healthcare system and represent a fundamental part of the solution to our healthcare needs.
However, the skills and experience IEHPs bring to Canada are extremely underutilized. This has weakened our pandemic response capacity, and perpetuates race, gender, and human rights inequities.
Canadians want a government that will prioritize the process to design and implement a national strategy that will effectively and equitably integrate the thousands of immigrants who are internationally educated health professionals into the healthcare system swiftly, while meeting or exceeding quality of care standards.
A national strategy would:
- Rebuild and strengthen Canada's healthcare human resources and fortify the healthcare system.
- Address the longstanding underutilization of the skills of Canada’s IEHPs.
- Address the needs of Francophone IEHPs in primarily English language communities.
- Re-invest in the healthcare workforce for the future and reduce economic losses associated with underutilization.
- Provide inclusive, linguistically, and culturally representative patient care services for an increasingly diverse population.
- Empower talented IEHPs economically, professionally, and personally.
- Modernize and scale up the equitable integration of IEHPs across all sectors of the healthcare system.
Your parties have made certain healthcare commitments in the 2021 election campaign. But what is missing and important for Canadians to know during the campaign period is how your party plans to solve our healthcare crisis by utilizing IEHPs who can contribute to solutions that benefit everyone.
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