VANCOUVER – New Democrat MLA Brenda Bailey says people will benefit from more allied health professionals to support their health care needs, as new training seats are added at the University of British Columbia.
“It’s so important that people get the health care they need, when they need it,” said Brenda Bailey, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek. “For far too long, the BC Liberals chose to ignore the rising pressures on our health care system, forcing people to wait longer and travel further when they needed help. We know people are struggling and tired of waiting, and that is why our government is taking action to train more health care workers who will provide the high quality care British Columbians depend on.”
The allied health workforce includes a range of professionals who provide preventative, diagnostic, technical, and therapeutic health care and clinical support services to patients. In Vancouver, UBC will be adding 12 new dietitian seats through a new Master of Nutrition and Dieteics program with the first intake starting in September 2022, as well as two new seats for genetic counsellors with the first intake starting in September 2023.
In addition, the BC New Democrat government is providing bursaries to internationally-educated allied health professionals and existing health authority employees, to make training more affordable while helping to meet the demand for health professionals in B.C.
Investing in training more health care workers is a key pillar of the StrongerBC Economic Plan, which aims to close the skills gap with a generational commitment to accelerate talent development and skills training for British Columbians.
This expansion builds on recent investments in growing allied health programs from the BC New Democrat government. The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training provided $3.5 million to public post-secondary institutions in 2021/22 to begin the expansion of allied health seats throughout the province, with an investment of close to $18 million total planned to 2024. In addition to seat expansions, the Province is also investing more than $10 million in bursaries and professional development funding to help train, retain and support allied health professionals.