Thanking immigrant health-care workers
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/02/2022 (483 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Canada’s health-care system requires immigrants in order to meet health-care service needs.
Immigration policy over the years has enabled Canadians to experience high-level quality care and health-care services. The reality is there are thousands of immigrants from around the world who were educated and/or worked in health care abroad before they became Canadian residents. Today still hundreds of them that are trying to get their skills fully recognized — but that is for another story.
On Jan. 24, the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press featured a Filipina immigrant working as a registered nurse here in Canada. As I read more about her, I was struck by this line: “Registered nurse April Intertas began nursing in her homeland, the Philippines, and is one of many Filipinas and Filipinos caring for patients in Manitoba hospitals.”
First off, let me express my appreciation and gratitude to April for choosing Winnipeg as her new home and for continuing in her passion for providing care. Canada has been blessed by so many health-care workers and caregivers coming her from the Philippines. April’s story reminded me of a 2016 report from Statistics Canada that estimated that internationally educated Filipino nurses are the largest groups of immigrant nurses in Canada and the United States.
I was recently told the Saskatchewan Health Authority aims to hire 150 permanent, full-time nursing and laboratory staff from the Philippines this year to bulk up its health-care system, which has been heavily impacted by the pandemic.
In a January interview with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, nurses union president Tracy Zambory said “we could not be without our Filipino nurses. They are a gigantic asset, and we could not run without them.”
It is not hard to understand why. Nearly a quarter of nurse aides, orderlies and similar professionals in the Whear Province are immigrants, with most coming from the Philippines.
Health-care workers and caregivers provide a broad spectrum of support services from hospitals to long-term care facilities to private homes. Around the world, there are thousands of health care workers who would like to call Canada home and I suspect that we will continue to prioritize immigrants with health-care training so we can meet the expectations of Canada’s quality, universal health-care system.
The pandemic has also shown all of us just how important our health-care system is. A lot of work is required to ensure that it will be there for us and future generations in the years ahead.
In closing, I just wanted to express how deeply I appreciate all of our health-care workers and caregivers for all they have done to provide the care that is so important.
Winnipeg North constituency report
Kevin Lamoureux is the Liberal Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North.