Minister of Health Adrian Dix recently announced a new Health Human Resources (HHR) strategy that aims to address the considerable challenges facing the health care system at present. BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) commends the Minister for this multi-year strategy which includes 70 actions.
Health human resource challenges are the foremost concern of our membership, and the number one issue facing the seniors living and care sector in B.C., which is why BCCPA and EngAge BC have worked closely with provincial government officials to communicate not only the impacts of these challenges on our members, but also the opportunities to address recruitment and retention issues that the plan seeks to address.
The strategy focuses on four key areas:
- Retain: Foster healthy, safe and inspired workplaces, supporting workforce health and wellness, embedding reconciliation, diversity, inclusion and cultural safety and better supporting and retaining workers in high-need areas, building clinical leadership capacity and increasing engagement.
- Redesign: Balance workloads and staffing levels to optimize quality of care by optimizing scope of practice, expanding and enhancing team-based care, redesigning workflows and adopting enabling technologies.
- Recruit: Attract and onboard workers by reducing barriers for international health-care professionals, supporting comprehensive onboarding and promoting health-care careers to young people.
- Train: Strengthening employer supported training models; enhancing earn and learn programs to support staff to advance the skills and qualifications; expanding the use of bursaries, expanding education seats for new and existing employees.
While further details are not yet available, notable commitments include:
- A promise to continue to provide workers in publicly funded long term care and assisted living sites with ‘levelled up wages.’
- A multi-faceted program to raise the profile of the varied careers available across the health sector and broader care economy with high school students, including an expansion of dual credit programs.
- A continued commitment to support internationally educated nurses to access professional careers in nursing through grants that offset training, application, and assessment fees for internationally educated nurses and nurse re-entrants.
- Assessment and application fee reimbursements for internationally educated nurses who practice in B.C.
- Making health care assistants eligible for the BC Provincial Nominee Program.
- A commitment from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to work with health sector partners to increase the number of occupations eligible for the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants Program.
The strategy can be accessed in its entirety here.