HSA Welcomes Government Action to Increase Training

HSA President Kane Tse today welcomed news that the BC government is adding 322 new training spots for health science professions facing dire shortages, and providing bursaries for internationally-educated health science professionals looking to join the BC workforce.

 “Heavy workload and growing shortages of specialized health professionals have pushed the health care system to the brink,” said Tse. “HSA has been calling for significant action to increase training opportunities and improve recruitment and retention, and we are pleased the government has begun responding with concrete measures.”
The new seats will expand capacity for training medical laboratory technologists, social workers, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, and radiation therapists between September 2022 and 2023. Other plans are in the works to expand the number of training seats for physiotherapists and speech-language pathologists in 2024. The bursary program for internationally-trained health science professionals is expected to fund training for individuals across a wide range of professions. The announcement also formally delivers $3 million in professional development funding for members covered by the Health Sciences Professional Bargaining Association, and applications for this funding will be accepted once criteria are set later this summer. These announcements come a month after government unveiled a new provincial program to help MRI technologist students graduate earlier and enter the workforce sooner.

“Today’s announcements will help expand educational opportunities and reduce financial barriers to work in specialized health professions across the province. Bursaries for domestic and internationally-trained individuals who want to join the rewarding field of specialized health delivery, as well as $3 million to support the training and upgrading of current health science professionals are key pieces of the recruitment strategy we need to urgently fill these highly-skilled positions. I look forward to welcoming graduates of these post-secondary programs as colleagues soon.”