Doctors struggle for accreditation
Although many Canadians list health care
and doctor shortages as top concerns, foreign-trained
doctors and other health professionals complain that they
can't work in the country.
There are many
international medical graduates in Canada - mostly from
Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe - and many have
been unable to land residencies or training that leads to
The process to have international medical
credentials recognized is long and arduous. Foreign doctors
must first pass the Medical Council of Canada's examination
of basic medical knowledge. Then they take certification
exams by the College of Family Physicians of Canada or the
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In most
provinces, graduates of foreign medical schools must take
two to six years of postgraduate medical training at a
Speeding up the accreditation of foreign doctors is important.
Critics also want Ottawa to create national standards for
accreditation, and pump more money into upgrading skills
of these professionals.
IHealth Canada provides considerable funds to establish a better procedure for professionals, i. e., to develop common screening area, evaluation tools, a better access to information for
international medical graduates, to help provinces and territories assess
unlicensed medical graduates living in Canada.
Construction boom worsens trades
Construction boomed in Canada during the
last few years, worsening a long-standing shortage of
workers in certain trades. The construction industry has historically
depended on immigrants, especially from Portugal, Italy and,
more recently, Poland. The demand for more
bricklayers, cabinetmakers, welders, plumbers and others
Immigration changes favour skilled
When the federal government introduced new immigration to
Canada laws in 2008, it made a number of changes that made
it easier for skilled workers to come to Canada.
The Immigration and Refugee Protection
Act places a sharper focus on education, language ability
and skilled work experience. It made it easier for people
with a trade certificate or a second academic degree, as well as for highly
educated younger workers to qualify.
Skilled workers, under the new act:
Fall under the economic class of immigrants, which also
includes entrepreneurs, investors
Have professional or technical abilities that are highly
sought after or transferable.
already have job offers from a Canadian company.
Must meet criteria that give points for education levels,
official languages ability and
They need at least a year of related full-time, paid
enough money to support themselves
Statistics Canada shows that two-thirds
of IT workers came under this class, compared with one-third
of doctors and health managers, and only a fifth of trades
Other skilled workers immigrated under the refugee,
family or other classes.
Provinces try to fast-track foreign
Most provincial and territorial
governments have signed immigration deals with Ottawa to
fast track the citizenship applications of skilled workers.
Under the Provincial Nominee Program,
provinces and territories may nominate a person for a
permanent resident visa on the grounds that the individual's
skills are in particular demand there.
These immigrants are expected to live in
the province that nominated them in order to contribute
their particular employment skills.