Ontario health minister visits Kitchener to launch hospital staffing programs |

With staffing shortages continuing to be an issue at Ontario hospitals, Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones was in Kitchener on Monday morning to champion a number of new programs announced by the province that launched Monday.

“Our government is launching three new programs to further break down barriers for international doctors to practice in Ontario, providing experienced nurses with leadership and mentorship opportunities, and launching a new $40 million Models of Care Innovation Fund,” Jones told reporters while speaking at Grand River Hospital’s Freeport Campus.

One of the programs will allow for internationally-educated physicians to apply for certification in Ontario immediately.

“This will add over 50 new physicians to our health-care workforce by 2024,” the health minister explained of the practice ready interior program.

Jones also pointed out that the new right-of-rules program officially opened for business on Monday will similarly allow health-care workers who are certified in other provinces to work in Ontario without being cleared by an Ontario regulatory college.

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The health minister also pointed to the clinical scholar program, which allows for dedicated mentorship for nurses who are looking to upgrade their skills, as another way the government was looking to address staffing shortages.

“This will also help retain experienced nurses by providing them with the opportunity to share their expertise and knowledge and retain new nurses by providing them with the dedicated support they need to confidently transition into the nursing profession,” Jones said.

The province says that 63,000 new nurses and 8,000 new doctors have registered to work in Ontario since 2018, including 15,000 nurses last year.

Click to play video: 'Ontario announces new health-care funding, including $200 million to address staffing shortages'

Ontario announces new health-care funding, including $200 million to address staffing shortages

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