Federal Budget 2017 – Benefits for Health Professionals

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In March, the 2017 federal budget announced increased support for new immigrants who need to get their credentials recognized in order to work in Canada. New measures include a loan program to help cover the cost of credential recognition process before they come. What do these changes mean for immigrants who come to Canada in future?

DM_TRIEC_15October2015-518Dr. Syed Jaffery is a medical professional. Like many people working in healthcare, or any other regulated profession, he faced challenges when he first came to Canada. He shares his thoughts on these changes.

At TNO-IDEAS, we primarily work with International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who have been in Canada for some years. While the pre-arrival support will not impact our current study group as they have already gone through, or are undergoing their credential recognition process, it will be useful for other newcomers, especially those aspiring to practice medicine in Canada. This is a tedious process which requires not only time but a considerable financial investment.

The loan program, is a welcome step. However, along with pre-arrival newcomers, extending it to all newcomer professionals who are, or will be, undergoing credential recognition would be highly beneficial.

To generate effective measures and innovative approaches, it would be ideal to involve IMGs in the decision-making process, along with healthcare authorities and policy-makers. This will help in taking steps that help IMGs gain the required Canadian experience in their profession. For instance, at TNO-IDEAS, our members have worked closely with the Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) to help develop a practice-ready assessment program for Ontario. A dedicated bridging program developed for IMGs to work and learn the skills in a Canadian workplace will also be helpful. These measures will help IMGs contribute effectively to the Canadian economy.

Dr. Syed Jaffery is the co-founder of the professional association, TNO-IDEAS, a member of TRIEC’s Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) program. To learn more about PINs, visit the website www.networksforimmigrants.ca.

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