March 13, 2018 10:06 am

N.S. immigration staff heading to U.K. to attract new physicians to province

Natasha Pace/Global News

Staff from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration will head to London this week to try and attract new physicians to the province.

“Our pitch from the immigration perspective is to assist them and support them to actually immigrate to Canada,” Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab told reporters on Tuesday morning.

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READ: Nova Scotia announces new immigration stream to attract more doctors

In February, the Nova Scotia government announced a new immigration stream in order to attract more doctors and specialists to the province.

The province says the stream will make the immigration process easier and faster for internationally-trained doctors and specialists who have already received approved job offers from the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) or the IWK Health Centre.

Three applications have been processed so far, with two doctors slated to begin practicing in the Halifax-area and one in Baddeck later this spring.

WATCH: ‘Burnout’ is an issue among half of Nova Scotia doctors who participated in survey

Two staff members from the immigration department will be in London on Friday and Saturday and will do one-on-one interviews with nine doctors who they first connected with at a job fair in the fall.

Diab says staff will be able to answer any questions the physicians may have. In addition, staff will hold a broader information session for all skilled workers who are interested in making Nova Scotia their home.

The cost for the two-day trip will be about $20,000.

“We hope it’s a good bang for our bucks,” said the minister.

The province says they are also working on an international recruitment marketing strategy.

“We are competing with not just provinces in Canada, we’re competing throughout the world,” said Diab.

READ MORE: Low uptake for new immigration program in Nova Scotia, numbers reveal

The minster says the issue of doctor shortages is not just a problem in our province.

“This is not just a phenomenon that is only in Nova Scotia.  It’s widespread all over Canada,” said Diab.

“Many parts of the world have this issue.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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