Canada as a hub for foreign healthcare professionals.
By Luiz Moreira | Translated by Loretta Murphy
According to the government of New Brunswick, in 2006 the number of healthcare professionals in the country reached 1 million, accounting for 6% of the entire Canadian labour force. Many immigrated to the country because they were attracted to the quality of life and new opportunities, in addition to seeking greater recognition. In the dental field for example, many professionals contribute to a more complete and efficient healthcare system. This is the case of Dr. Renato Harari, Dr. Olavo Queiroz, Dr. Veronica Yoshiura and dental hygienist Denise Neves.
Investing in Health
In order to exercise their professions in Canada, many healthcare professionals end up having to validate their diplomas, which may end up being a hindrance. This was the case of dentist Veronica Yoshiura who, after moving to Canada in 1991, had to take the National Dental Examining Board exams. A few years later, she began seeing patients at a clinic in Little Italy in Toronto. A barrier according to Veronica, can be overturned:
“Like all career beginnings, it’s hard to show people that they can trust your work, your skills and abilities, especially if you are a professional trained outside of Canada. With time and dedication, this difficulty is overcome.”
Holistic therapist Guiomar Campbell also encountered challenges and barriers, culture shock being one of them. But that did not stop her from dedicating herself to her profession, and after several courses and specialization programs, her great achievement was opening the first Brazilian alternative medicine clinic in Toronto. “Here in Canada, we have many opportunities to enhance our knowledge and we have access to advanced programs in many areas of healthcare and education. I have had the opportunity to study with the best specialists,” explains Guiomar.
Also aiming at contributing to the welfare and health of the general public, Melissa Pancini graduated in Holistic Nutrition after deciding she would like to raise her children in a healthier way. Realizing that might also benefit others, she began to take appointments. Today she has an office and wants to continue studying. She also has plans to hold more talks. “I take pride in improving people’s quality of life. We are what we eat, and when we change our eating habits, everything in our lives changes,” Melissa says.
For immigrants and healthcare professionals, Bridging Programs provide assistance in the transition to the labour market. These training programs assess workers’ abilities and skills and explore employment opportunities with potential employers in relation to their expectations.
Based on these programs to integrate immigrant workers, the Internationally Educated Health Professionals Initiative ( IEHPI ) was created in 2005/ 6 by the Canadian government in order to increase the number of healthcare workers in the labour market, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists and occupational therapists.
With all this investment, the healthcare market is advancing rapidly. Professionals leading small and medium businesses, which grow by providing innovative solutions, directly contribute to this change. With their skills and entrepreneurial spirits, it is a win-win situation for Canadians.