The shortage of healthcare employees has become a rising concern in Canada, affecting the standard and accessibility of healthcare services. There is a significant shortage of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Front-line staff are fatigued after nearly three years of fighting COVID-19 and dealing with the consequences of delayed treatment for everyone else. Our healthcare workers are leaving hospitals or changing careers.
They cannot continue working long hours and doing forced overtime. They are fatigued and disheartened, and some are willing to talk. According to a recent survey,(1) job openings in Canada’s health industry have reached a new high of over 100,000 vacant posts, and the consequences of the last few months have been terrible. Hundreds of emergency and hospital service units across the nation have had to temporarily close owing to personnel shortages, and those that have stayed open face lengthy wait times. Many individuals believe that our current healthcare system is no longer sustainable in the long run.
According to the latest government data, there are 848,000 open positions. The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions reported (2) in 2022 that the number of nursing positions rose by 219.8% from 2017.
Several provincial governments have initiated attempts to address the issue. There are various ways to recruit and retain healthcare employees. With a growing elderly population and rising healthcare costs, it is critical to establish effective recruitment and retention methods. This article will cover several options for resolving this issue, with a focus on attracting fresh talent and maintaining created healthcare workers. Here are some key approaches:
Expanding Education and Training Opportunities:
It is critical to boost educational institutions’ capacity to create more healthcare workers. Expanding the number of spaces available at medical schools, programs for nursing, and other healthcare-related disciplines will help address the shortfall. Furthermore, providing financial incentives such as scholarships, fellowships, and loan forgiveness programs can motivate people to seek jobs in healthcare.
Automating Certification and Licensure Procedures:
Simplifying and accelerating the certification and licensure processes will attract more healthcare professionals to Canada. Reducing administrative hurdles and guaranteeing transparency and justice in the examination and acceptance of overseas qualifications will help promote the integration of globally trained healthcare personnel into the Canadian healthcare system.
Increasing Recruitment Efforts:
Affiliation with educational institutions: Form relationships with schools and universities that foster healthcare careers and encourage students to pursue relevant fields through financial aid, scholarships, and internships.
Immigration programs: Simplify immigration procedures to attract qualified healthcare workers from other nations while confirming their credentials. This can include promoting job openings through multiple sources, visiting job fairs and professional events, and utilizing social media platforms.
Attractive Compensation and Benefits:
Offering fair wages and benefit packages is critical for attracting and keeping healthcare employees. Conducting regular compensation reviews to ensure remuneration fits with market standards is important. In addition, complete incentives such as promotion, medical coverage, pension plans, and chances to grow professionally can improve job satisfaction and retention.
Boosting Work-Life Balance:
Handling work-life balance problems is critical for keeping healthcare employees. Flexible scheduling, self-care initiatives, and proper time-off and vacation rules can all contribute to a happier and more sustainable workplace.
Friendly Work Environments:
Creating positive workplaces that promote employee well-being, foster cooperation, and provide chances for professional growth can improve retention. Encourage teamwork, provide mentorship programs, and create feedback mechanisms to boost job satisfaction and prevent burnout.
Integrating Technology and Innovation:
Using innovative technology in healthcare delivery can help ease the pressure on healthcare professionals. Implementing electronic health records, telemedicine services, and other digital tools can help streamline operations, improve efficiency, and reduce workload.
Collaborations and Partnerships:
Collaboration between many stakeholders, such as government agencies, educational institutions, medical centers, and professional groups, is critical. They may build comprehensive strategies to address the healthcare worker shortage, exchange resources, and effectively manage activities if they collaborate.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that Canada’s public healthcare system is “one of the greatest things” about the country and that his administration is dedicated to working with provinces to “ensure Canadians get good, quality” healthcare.
It is vital to emphasize that these tactics should be adjusted to the individual demands and challenges that different areas of Canada confront. By combining these techniques, Canada may aim to alleviate the healthcare worker shortage while ensuring the supply of high-quality healthcare services to its citizens.