The federal government is spearheading efforts to dramatically shorten the duration for international medical graduates to integrate into Canada’s health-care system.
On Thursday, Health Minister Mark Holland announced a national plan for health workforce wellbeing, including alleviating burnout, which will fund more than $3.5 million over five years to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
“This will bring together a diverse group of partners to find new ways to support the well-being of Canada’s health-care workers by focusing on the well-being of these workers. We can help them stay in jobs that they love and that they perform so well in building a system where health care workers can feel supported and safe in their work environments,” Holland said during a Thursday media conference.
Another $1.5 million over two years will be given to the College for initiatives to make it quicker for international medical students to find work in Canada.
“We know that recruitment isn’t part of the solution, it’s at the heart of the solution,” Holland said.
“This includes welcoming internationally educated health professionals, providing the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons with an additional $1.49 million to expand and expedite the specialist practice eligibility for international medical graduates.”
The initiative aims to reduce the intake and processing times for certain candidates to apply for work in Canada from six to 24 months down to three to four months.
Dr. Brian Hodges, the president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, welcomed the initiative, stating around one-quarter of all physicians practicing in Canada earned their medical degrees outside of the country.
He called the application process “difficult, long and burdensome.”
However, he said during the press conference: “With the government of Canada’s commitment today, we will reduce the length that it takes for an international medical graduate to access our system.”
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