NEW DELHI, India, Aug 31 (IPS) – With elections just around the corner in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said a re-elected Liberal government would spend billions over the next few years to hire GPs. This report says Justin Trudeau promised that the liberals would spend $3 billion in four years from 2022 to employ 7,500 primary care physicians and nurses, as well as tax and student loans for health workers settling in rural or remote communities and also make pledges. an additional $6 billion to struggle with waiting lists.
A 2019 report states that there were 91,375 doctors in Canada, which equates to 241 doctors per 100,000 population. According to the Canadian Medical Association, approximately five million Canadians do not have a primary care physician or family health care team.
Canada’s overstretched healthcare system has yet to take advantage of all the untapped talents and skills at its disposal, as seen during the important role internationally trained medical doctors, ITMDs played in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccination clinics support, work as a contact person in locating managers and mental health advisers.
Canada loses by not involving and including ITMDs, says Dr. Shafi Bhuiyan, a health professional and chairman of ITMD’s Canada Network (iCAN). “More than 4.5 million Canadians are unable to find their GP, with the result that the wait time to see a doctor is constantly increasing, also leading to the disruption of social peace and justice.”
Canada currently has more than 13,000 ITMDs, and the visa process, Bhuiyan says, has “a very thorough and rigorous screening program by the Canadian CIC, where medical experience plays a key role along with other requirements to enter the country, but once they come to Canada, for several reasons, are losing residency.”
Saida Azam is one such ITMD who moved to Canada with her husband almost three years ago for better career opportunities. Azam, a medical professional with experience in India and Oman, says: “I’ve done a number of surgeries and births, I’ve worked as a GP for three years, but right now I’m waiting to do that here.
“The knowledge I have in this area is really good, the only difference with the Canadian context, with medicine, is that when I move from one territory or one country to another, things will be different, from the patients to the region and the like. That doesn’t mean I have less knowledge or that the local doctors here have more. What would help people like me is if there was a training program for internationally trained medical doctors to better integrate us into the Canadian health care system.
“Canada is home now, I wouldn’t say I’m completely disappointed, but I hope I can share my expertise and continue my career,” Azam said.
One of the main challenges for ITMDs remains the costs associated with licensing inquiries, the CaRMS application process is often a barrier for new entrants. According to this report, 47% of health professionals trained abroad are either unemployed or employed in non-health positions requiring only a high school diploma.
The ongoing pandemic has been a time of crisis around the world, and with a shortage and underutilization of health workers in Canada, the country is only putting a strain on its health care system by failing to take into account and use its resources. ITMDs.
The report on the OECD Policy Responses of Coronavirus (COVID19) 2020 says: “By encouraging the creation of new jobs in the health sector worldwide, the report suggested a unique opportunity to both respond to the growing global demand for health workers and to address the expected shortages. . During the COVID-19 pandemic, many OECD countries have recognized migrant health workers as key assets and implemented policies to aid their arrival and the recognition of their qualifications.”
In 2020, Canada, where annual immigration is about 300,000 new immigrants, announced its 2021-2023 immigration level plan, stating it would target the highest level of immigration in its history by welcoming 401,000 immigrants in 2021, 411,000 immigrants in 2022, 421,000 immigrants in 2023.
“The only time Canada welcomed more than 400,000 immigrants in a year was in 1913, when it admitted 401,000 new arrivals. It has never come close to this figure,” the report states.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) says that developing countries host more than a third of the world’s international migrants and that most immigrants are migrant workers who work formally or more often informally in their destination countries.
This ILO report highlights the importance of immigrants and how “immigration plays a key role in the development of destination countries and government policies can play an important role in increasing its contribution to the development of destination countries. Excluding immigration from development strategies could mean missed opportunities for host countries.”
“The Canadian government is missing out by not including a pool of talent it has access to, if these hurdles can be removed and replaced instead with a simpler and more transparent process for obtaining an approved medical license, that would be a win-win situation. situation for everyone,” says Bhuiyan.
If Canada is able to overcome these systemic barriers and inequality to its ITMDs, with a pool of talented immigrants, it has the potential that not only will it affect the country’s economic prosperity, immigrants will change the country’s income distribution and investment priorities. and as taxpayers contribute to the public budget and benefit from public services.
The author is a journalist and filmmaker from New Delhi. She hosts a weekly online show called The Sania Farooqui Show where Muslim women from all over the world are invited to share their views. You can follow her on Twitter here.
© Inter Press Service (2021) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service