Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson

MLA’S CORNER: Internationally-trained professionals stuck facing hurdles

The health care crisis requires a system-wide approach

British Columbians continue to struggle as the government does little to reduce barriers for internationally-trained professionals looking to work in B.C. Workers across different professions, including veterinarians, nurses and doctors face obstacles that bar them from practicing in our province.

This is the reality faced by the millions of highly-educated and trained immigrants and Canadians.

As one of the most multicultural places in the world, with robust career opportunities, we should be making it easier for them to find success. They should not have to wait countless years to do the jobs they were trained for.

Currently, an estimated 5,000 internationally-trained doctors are in B.C. and unable to leap the barriers to practice. Considering close to a million British Columbians do not have a family doctor, reducing or eliminating those obstacles would be an enormous help to our struggling health care system.

To address this issue, the BC Liberal Caucus has announced new policy ideas, including initiatives for internationally-trained doctors. These solutions include increasing the number of residencies available for international medical graduates from 56 to 150 and immediately fast-tracking the certification of international medical graduates, many of whom are Canadians that have pursued their studies abroad and are eager to work in Canada.

We have unveiled new policies that would drastically improve the ability of internationally-trained doctors to practice in British Columbia. These solutions can actively help address the recruitment problems facing our province and allow health professionals to help British Columbians.

Health care workers are struggling in an overwhelmed and understaffed health care system, all while feeling increasingly neglected by a government that isn’t doing enough to acknowledge their concerns. We must implement solutions to the immediate crisis to help relieve existing pressures and expand doctor training spaces. The crisis requires a system-wide approach.

Read More: MLA’S CORNER: Health care crisis deepens

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