Let them help! – Tell Trudeau to let foreign-trained doctors help with Coronavirus

Let_them_help_-_EN.pngCanada and the rest of the world are struggling to respond to the Coronavirus, with imminent shortages of trained professionals. For years, CJPME has asked Canada to streamline processes to allow foreign-trained professionals to work in Canada. With the Coronavirus, the need to employ more doctors is even more urgent. Thousands have signed a petition asking the government to allow international medical graduates to contribute their skills to help in the crisis. Time to help both Canada, and these idle medical professionals!

Tell Trudeau, your local MP and the provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons to make it easier for foreign-trained health care professionals to help.

Please fill the fields below to tell Trudeau, your local MP and the provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons to make it easier for foreign-trained health care professionals to help.

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Immigrants to Canada face huge barriers as their foreign-earned credentials and work experience are often not recognized in Canada. Non-recognition of foreign credentials and work experience by professional societies or employers can lead to an underutilization of the ‘human capital’ of many immigrants and can be discouraging to the individuals involved. While Canada must maintain accreditation standards, there is much that can be done to lower barriers and streamline processes.

For example, the 2017 Parliamentary Committee on Heritage proposed that the Canadian Government eliminate employment barriers by devising a national strategy on labour market integration of foreign-trained professionals.

In a similar vein, the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) recommended bridging programs, professional certificates, or certification courses to reduce employment barriers for foreign-trained professionals.

Similarly, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) recommended easier access to language training; vocational bridging programs; and skill upgrade programs for foreign-trained professionals.

In March, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) invoked a legislative option to enable them to give short-term supervised licenses to certain international medical graduates to practice in Ontario. But so far, very few such graduates have applied, and the legislation does not apply to nurses, technicians and doctors who don't meet the legislative criteria. British Columbia announced that it might do something similar.

A few weeks ago, a Change.org petition was launched by international medical graduates living in Canada asking to be allowed to help with the Coronavirus crisis, and over 17,000 Canadians have signed it.

The streamlining and normalization of processes enabling foreign-trained professionals to work in Canada has long been a policy initiative of CJPME. This issue was one of 23 issues that CJPME put forth prior to the 2019 elections. While high Canadian professional standards must continue to be maintained, unnecessary barriers and inconsistencies can be removed.