MLAs say people to benefit from better care as JIBC trains more health care workers

NEW WESTMINSTER – New Democrat MLAs Jennifer Whiteside and Aman Singh say more people will benefit from more allied health professionals to support their health-care needs, as new training seats are added

“Recruiting and training more health care workers into the profession is one of the ways we can strengthen our health care system,” says Jennifer Whiteside, MLA for New Westminster. “With the new bridging program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, paramedics trained in other provinces and countries will be able to transition into the profession here in B.C., and help relieve the demand for health care workers across the province.”

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 New Westminster, Justice Institute of British Columbia will be adding a new bridging program to help advanced care paramedics trained in other provinces and countries transition to practice within British Columbia, with first intake starting in fall 2022.

“Investing in new training seats at post-secondary institutions is an investment in the future of our healthcare system,” says Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “By expanding opportunities for training, we’re reducing barriers for people looking to enter the profession, and preparing them to address the health care needs of all British Columbians.”

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.

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