Premier Doug Ford has a new plan to attract more health care workers to his province. If his “As of Right” rules pass, then health care workers registered in other provinces and territories can immediately start working in Ontario.
“As we connect people to more convenient care, we need to be bold, innovative and creative,” said Premier Doug Ford. “With our new “As of Right” rules, Ontario is the first province in Canada to allow health care workers from across the country to immediately start providing care. That’s the kind of innovative solutions that will cut down unnecessary bureaucratic delays and help bring reinforcements to the frontlines of our health care system.”
The Ford government plans to introduce legislative changes in February 2023 that, if passed, will allow Canadian health care workers that are already registered or licensed in another Canadian jurisdiction to practice in Ontario immediately, without having to first register with one of Ontario’s health regulatory colleges.
Provincial officials say these changes will help health-care workers overcome bureaucratic delays that have made it difficult to practice in Ontario.
“A highly-skilled health care worker from British Columbia or Nova Scotia shouldn’t have to pause their career or face barriers to practice here in Ontario,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
In addition, the province will also be helping hospitals and other health organizations temporarily increase staffing when they need to fill vacancies or manage periods of high patient volume, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, the government will introduce legislation that, if passed, will increase staffing levels on a short-term basis by allowing health care professionals, including nurses, paramedics, respiratory therapists, and others, to work outside of their regular responsibilities or settings, as long as they have the knowledge skill, and judgement to do so. This will provide hospitals and other settings with more flexibility to ensure health care professionals are filling the most in-demand roles at the right time.
These changes, if passed, will mark the first step towards a pan-Canadian portable registration model, the first of its kind for health care professionals in the country.
Under this proposal, health care professionals from outside the province will only be eligible and permitted to work in Ontario if they have provided safe, competent, and ethical health care in their home province or territory.
Ontario is also adding 160 undergraduate seats and 295 postgraduate positions over the next five years, the largest expansion of undergraduate and postgraduate education in over 10 years.