Why WES thinks a record of healthcare professionals in Canada is due?

Record Immigrants with medical education to help Canada’s healthcare system WES (1)

Highlights of WES announcement

  • The WES has highlighted the need to identify healthcare professionals in Canada.
  • The skills and experience of IEHPs (Internationally-Educated Health Professionals) are valuable for Canada to fight against COVID-19.
  • WES made a six-point recommendation list to the Canadian government.

The WES (World Education Services) has lately come up with a policy in which it has made important recommendations to the Canadian government. WES is a non-profit organization that evaluates credentials for immigrants and international students.

These recommendations are meant to urge the Government of Canada to have clear information assimilated into a database on the number of prospective healthcare professionals in Canada.

These professionals are known under the acronym IEHP (Internationally-Educated Health Professionals). They are significant in the present state of affairs with the COVID-19 threat yet to be eradicated. What the WES urges the Canadian government is to capitalize on the skills and experience of IEHPs to meet the needs of the Canadian population.

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According to WES, Canada has to be sure that it has a sufficient number of qualified healthcare professionals. In order to utilize the professional abilities and experience of healthcare professionals, the country must roll out equitable policies and programs. For this, comprehensive, timely, and integrated data is required.

Immigrants constitute 25% of Canada’s healthcare and social services labor force. In comparison, Canadian working adults make up only 10% of this sector.

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Occupations in the healthcare sector

Looking at other occupations in the healthcare sector, it can be found that immigrants constitute

  • 9% of all nurses in Canada
  • 19% of all physicians in Canada
  • 33% of all healthcare assistants

However, there’s a lack of comprehensive data on the real number of healthcare professionals and qualified healthcare talents in Canada. This limits the knowledge of the full extent of potential healthcare resources in Canada.

It’s important to know the number of IEHPs temporarily or permanently living and working in Canada. In view of the hindrances brought about by COVID-19, it’s also essential to learn how many of them successfully re-entered their careers. Another piece of information required to make effective policies is to know how long it takes for a healthcare talent to get licensed.

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Recommendations made by WEF to the Canadian government

These are the recommendations WEF made to the Canadian government in its policy brief:

  1. Improve the data collection by IRCC on the educational background and intended occupations of all classes of immigrants. This would include:
    1. Collecting the type and level of healthcare education or training, licensure status in other jurisdictions, and intended occupation of all IEHP migrants to Canada, including all immigration categories: temporary workers (especially caregivers), permanent residents (including secondary applicants through Express Entry), refugees/ claimants, and international students;
    2. Tracking IEHPs who transition from temporary work/study permit holder to permanent residency/citizenship status;
    3. Continuing IRCC’s collaboration with Statistics Canada to develop the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) and supporting enhanced data exchanges, for example, through the social data linkage environment;
  2. Implement Statistics Canada’s Disaggregated Data Action Plan announced in the 2021 federal budget;
  3. Improve and standardize reporting processes for occupational regulatory bodies;
  4. Require provincial occupational regulatory bodies to collect data on IEHPs seeking registration in healthcare professions;
  5. Standardize data reporting requirements for occupational regulatory bodies across health professions and among provinces to show:
    1. How many IEHPs have applied for professional registration in relation to the total applicant pool;
    2. The number of successful/unsuccessful IEHP applicants each year;
    3. Disaggregated demographics on successful/unsuccessful applicants;
    4. How long the application/assessment process takes, and;
  6. Link data on applications and registrations from occupational regulatory bodies to data on employment outcomes.

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