The Manitoba government looks forward to welcoming hundreds of qualified internationally educated health-care professionals after nearly 90 per cent of candidates offered jobs during a recent recruitment mission to the Philippines accepted positions across the province. Candidates are now one step closer to their dream of living and working in Manitoba communities.

“More than 300 internationally educated health-care professionals have now accepted job offers to work as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, or health-care aides in communities located right across our province,” said Health Minister Audrey Gordon. “Our government is committed to healing our health-care system and building our health human resource capacity, so that more patients have access to the care they need.”

Shared Health has provided letters of interest to 348 candidates who passed interviews in the cities of Manila, Cebu or Iloilo during a recruitment mission to the Philippines in February. More than 300 candidates have now accepted job offers in Manitoba. This extremely high success rate reflects effective planning and co-ordination of this focused recruitment mission, Gordon noted.

Candidates who have accepted an offer have begun immigration and licensing processes and are expected to complete specific requirements in the coming months to allow for employment in Manitoba’s health-care system. Individuals are expected to begin arriving in Manitoba as early as late this summer, with arrivals increasing in fall, Gordon noted.

“The desire amongst Filipino health-care workers to live and work in Manitoba remains high,” said Labour and Immigration Minister Jon Reyes. “The connections between Manitoba’s local Filipino community and those who remain in the Philippines cannot be overstated. Manitoba is known as an extremely welcoming and friendly province, a place where dreams and success can be achieved through determination and hard work, and a community where the contributions of health-care workers are valued. We look forward to giving them a warm welcome when they arrive in our province.”

The Manitoba government has provided $100,000 in funding for a group of University of Manitoba nursing faculty assessors to travel to Manila to complete in-person clinical competency assessments in early July, Gordon added. More than 20 internationally educated nurses have confirmed participation and will be assessed for nursing knowledge and practice during this session.

Work continues on the development of a virtual clinical competence assessment, led by the University of Manitoba faculty of nursing, recognized as a leader in this field, Gordon noted. A memorandum of understanding between the faculty and World Citi Colleges, a leading educational institution with locations across the Philippines, will further work on expanding access to virtual assessment for future rounds of applicants.

“Leading up to the arrival of these new registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and health-care aides, we are focused on ensuring a smooth arrival with travel and accommodation arranged for them, orientation and mentorship to their future work location, and settlement services in the community that they will soon call home,” said Monika Warren, chief nursing officer, Shared Health. “Candidates have been assessed for skills and experience as well as any existing connections to a Manitoba community before being offered a role in a specific location.”

Shared Health has also issued a request for proposals from interested proponents to assist in finding safe, affordable permanent or rental housing for incoming staff in communities throughout the province.

“My journey as an internationally educated nurse in Manitoba has been incredible and I am proud and grateful for what my family and I have achieved and contributed to the community here in Canada,” said Ken Borce, chief of clinical operations, CancerCare Manitoba and an internationally trained health-care professional. “Throughout my career, I have believed in doing my ordinary duties extraordinarily well with not only competence but also compassion and commitment. This mindset, in a province of countless opportunities, creates an ideal environment for success.”