Medics who moved from Ukraine are outraged by the lack of support in Nova Scotia

Medics who moved from Ukraine are outraged by the lack of support in Nova Scotia

The provincial authorities drag out the process of obtaining a work permit.

Amid the worsening health care crisis in Canada, there have been reports that provincial governments are not helping speed up the hiring of ready-to-work medics.

Medical workers from Ukraine who have settled in Nova Scotia say they are frustrated by how difficult it is to get a work permit.

The province attracted specialists with the Nova Scotia Health program, which promised them employment. The stream for doctors, which is supposed to fill empty places in medical facilities with immigrants, looked promising. In reality, however, as Ukrainians say, the programs don't work.

They report that the biggest problems they face are related to licensing: you have to wait weeks for answers from officials.

One of the nurses, who has been waiting endlessly for news from the commissioners, believes that the authorities are not using the medical staff they have at their disposal during the crisis. She also stresses that she does not have the opportunity to go to full-time school for certification, because she has to work and provide for herself and the daughter she came with.

Nova Scotia's health minister said more than a month ago that the province was looking for Ukrainians to fill vacancies in health care, stressing that the process of obtaining a license would not be easy.

On August 2, she said in an interview that medics who have not received an answer can go to the Office of Medical Recruitment on their own. She calls the main problem of newcomers inappropriate competence and lack of knowledge of the English language.

She generally agrees that the certification process in the Atlantic provinces is far from ideal and does not deny that new schemes and principles could be introduced.

Dr. Gus Grant, CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, sees other obstacles to filling the empty seats quickly and cites statistics: the Nova Scotia Health Authority has deployed 69 medics educated in Ukraine. To date, most of them are not in the province. The college certifies applicants, allowing them to practice medicine in the province. While processing the documents, it turned out that 26 applicants were clearly ineligible for any form of license, while 10 might be eligible for a paramedic's license.

He said Canada's strict physician licensing procedure must be followed in all cases without exception, but that doesn't mean foreign credentialed medical professionals with experience can't do something to help.

For its part, the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment, which is most blamed for the delays, said it is working on an approach that will streamline the recruitment process.

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