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1 in 4 Canadian Health Care Workers Are Immigrants: Why Not You?

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Business Immigration to Canada

1 in 4 Canadian Health Care Workers Are Immigrants: Why Not You?

1 in 4 Canadian Health Care Workers Are Immigrants: On #WorldHealthDay on April 7, IRCC shared that one out of four physicians, nurses and pharmacists in Canada are immigrants. Over 40% of newcomers to Canada between 2011 and 2016 who were working in the health care sector were employed in the important areas of nursing and residential care facilities, as well as home health care services.

"Canada's healthcare system relies heavily on the skills and experience of internationally educated healthcare professionals."
- Margaret Walton-Roberts, a Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University and an expert on healthcare worker migration


    Canadian Internationally Educated Health Professionals

    Internationally Educated Health Professionals (IEHPs) in Canada's healthcare workforce and their contribution to meeting the growing population's needs have historically constituted a substantial portion of the workforce, according to a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Professionals.

    During the pandemic, shortages in healthcare workers intensified, prompting various jurisdictions to expedite or streamline the registration process for IEHPs to bolster workforce capacity.

    • In 2022, pharmacists and physicians comprised the largest proportion of IEHPs, with over a third of licensed pharmacists and 27% of physicians being internationally educated.
    • While traditionally lower, the proportion of internationally educated nurses (IENs) entering the nursing profession increased in 2022, representing an average of 12% of new nurses across provinces and territories.
    • Ontario and Nova Scotia had the highest proportions of IENs among newly licensed nurses in 2022, with significant increases observed in the Atlantic provinces.

    Underutilization of Immigrants With International Health Education

    Despite leveraging IEHPs to address healthcare workforce shortages, many landed immigrants with international health education are not employed in the Canadian health sector. Statistics Canada reported that a considerable number of IEHPs residing in Canada were not working in healthcare, with lower employment rates observed among IEHPs compared to their Canadian-educated counterparts.

    And, Statistics Canada found, when employed in the health sector, IEHPs may not be working in their trained profession, indicating a mismatch between skills and employment.

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    Canada Needs Internationally Trained Health Care Workers: Why Not You?

    Canada’s health care sector has high levels of job vacancies, with a total of 90,000 unfilled positions in health occupations in the second quarter of 2023.

    “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 Canadian government is investing $86 million to help foreign healthcare workers and professionals get their foreign credentials recognized faster. This will help address labor shortages in nursing, pharmacy, dentistry and other key areas.

      The funding will go to 15 organizations across Canada that will:

      • Simplify the credential recognition process for internationally educated healthcare professionals (IEHPs).
      • Provide them with relevant Canadian work experience and support services.
      • Make it easier for them to work in different provinces.

      This is in response to a commitment made with provinces and territories to improve the situation for IEHPs and ultimately strengthen Canada's healthcare workforce for all Canadians.

      Learn More:


      Are You A Health Care Worker and Want To Move To Canada?

      Thousands of experienced health care professionals and skilled workers immigrate permanently to Canada each year. Why not you?

      Ackah Business Immigration Law has a team of experienced immigration professionals who work closely with health care providers, businesses and individuals to ensure your application is complete, accurate and meets all the requirements. By using our firm, you can avoid common mistakes that could lead to rejection and the potential loss of your chance to work in Canada or the U.S. We also provide ongoing support throughout the entire process, so you can be confident that you are taking the necessary steps to secure your visa.

      Ackah Law has offices in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver to help people move to new opportunities in Canada and the U.S. To get in touch with Ackah Business Immigration Law, contact us at (587) 854-3866 or send an email directly to contact@ackahlaw.com.

      Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

      Founder/Managing Lawyer

      Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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