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Nova Scotia and partners take steps to get Ukrainians with healthcare background working sooner

Aug 26, 2022 | 12:45 PM

Left to right: Health Minister Michelle Thompson; Community Helth Navigator, Olena Kudenko; Dr. Alix Chamlat; Gail Tomlin-Murphy, Chief Nurse Executive with Nova Scotia Health. Photo: Anastasia Payne

Nova Scotia Health, the province and the regulatory colleges are taking steps to fast-track approval for Ukrainian nationals with healthcare backgrounds to work in the province’s medical system. 

On Thursday, Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness, announced that the province hired three community navigators to liaise between the Ukrainian community and the health-care system. She said there are plans to hire 10 more in the near future.

As of Aug. 5, 2022, a total of 234 Ukrainians – some already in Canada, and others not – have filled out a new webpage that collects information about their work experience. Of them, 144 are physicians, 14 are registered nurses, 12 are licensed practical nurses, and 64 work in a different health professional job.

“I know that we are committed to bringing folks in, bringing them in in a way that we can use them to the highest use. So perhaps not everyone can get full licensure here, but there are roles for clinical associates as an example.”

Several initiatives have been taken to help the various doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, including $340,000 in funding for the Nova Scotia College of Nurses to streamline the process of licensing. 

“We’ve been working very hard to stream things that in the past might be nine months to 12 months into about three months, for instance,” said Sue Smith, registrar at Nova Scotia College of Nursing.

“We do this by thinking about efficiencies, by bringing more people on board to help with this, for instance, human resources and other things. We are finding ways to expedite some of those processes as well.”

There’s also been some changes at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, where a streamlined service to review the qualifications of international physicians has been developed, which will benefit those from Ukraine. 

The goal is to speed up licensing timeframes and reduce administrative burdens.


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