The province is implementing measures to streamline the process

Amid Bill 124, the collapsing health care system, and the exhaustion experienced by nurses and doctors, Ontario officials are now presenting a solution. Clearly, Ontario’s health care system is in dire need of more nurses and doctors for support.

The solution is improving the process and removing barriers for internationally-trained nurses to become accredited in the province of Ontario. A CBC report reviewed the timeframe and measures being taken to register international nurses at a quicker pace.

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Regulatory colleges for doctors and nurses have been notified and directed by Ontario’s health minister Sylvia Jones regarding international aid.

Colleges were directed to create a plan that allows for a quicker registration process for international nurses and doctors. Premier Doug Ford also weighed in on the matter, only allocating two weeks to see changes implemented and processes elevated.

Waiting Days, not Hours in Ontario Emergency Rooms

It’s easy to guess the reason for an increasing need for support from international nurses and doctors, are the length and ongoing wait times in emergency rooms. The reason lies in the crippling shortage of nurses in Ontario hospitals, leaving the available nurses overrun by workloads and subject to exhaustion. Based on data released by Health Quality Ontario, patients are waiting on average a whopping 20.7 hours to be admitted from an emergency room into the hospital. It’s evident that Ontario’s health care is crumbling and both medical personnel and patients are suffering the consequences.

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International nurses incoming at unprecedented rates

By the direction of both Premier Ford and Health Minister Jones, the College of Nurses of Ontario is elevating the process for international nurses accredited in Ontario. This has led to a record-breaking number in terms of processing internationally training medical professionals. Though these numbers are record-breaking, it is not the first year this has occurred. According to an announcement published by the College of Nurses

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) set a new record for registering internationally educated nurses, breaking last year’s record in just six months. As of June 21, 2022, the number of new internationally educated registrants reached 3,967 — a 132% increase compared to this time last year.

CNO hopes that the quicker processing rates will allow for a spike in support for Ontario hospitals and medical establishments in the coming months. However, many are frustrated that officials took so long to establish a plan or to mobilize institutions to address the staffing shortages.

Read more: Ontario Wants Thousands of Foreign-Trained Nurses

Steps should’ve already been taken according to nursing unions

When Health Minister Jones and Premier Ford intervened with recommendations to streamline the processing, many had the opinion that this should have happened months ago. After being on the front lines and dealing with the wrath that COVID-19 unleashed on our public, nurses and doctors are profoundly overworked and suffering from burnout.

So having these actions come so late in the game was a shock to many and raised concerns about the future. A CBC report notes the status of the Ontario healthcare system and plans intended to go along with the integration of international healthcare workers.

Three Ontario healthcare unions have proposed a plan calling on the province to address hospital staffing shortages, while new Statistics Canada data highlights 22,000 health-sector jobs lost in July 2022.