Pinoys in Canada welcome additional funding for nurses

By Cecile Docto, ABS-CBN Canada

Posted at Jan 15 2014 10:02 AM | Updated as of Jan 15 2014 06:02 PM


VICTORIA, British Columbia – Canada has announced it will give $4 million in funding to help nurses get their credential recognition faster.

Filipino Canadian nurse Jessica Celeste welcomed the additional funding for regulatory bodies to speed up assessment and licensing processes.

She said the funding is partly because of the looming shortage of nurses in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Ontario in the coming years.

Other provinces like British Columbia are also currently not accepting nurses for permanent residents.

This is why most Pinoy nurses come here to work as live-in caregivers, hoping to apply as registered nurses whey they get their permanent residency.

But a long process awaits them.

"Bago sila makapag-apply sa licensure na 'yun they have to go through a lot of assessments and those assessments are actually based on the regulatory bodies. They actually check and see if all the qualifications have met their standards of education kasi mataas din ang standard ng British Columbia," said Celese, steward liaison for South Island of the British Columbia Nurses Union (BCNU).

Many are discouraged because they cannot afford to pay for registration and examination fees.

RJ Celdran worked as a registered nurse in Saskatchewan a few years ago. But when he moved here after going back to the Philippines, Celdran cannot apply for the same job.

"When I checked their website, I came to learn that every province has a different policy, regulations and there are different steps to take. So iba yung Saskatchewan and iba yung dito," said Celdran.

Philippine Labor Attache, Atty. Bernardino Julve said talks on this issue have started during BC Premier Christy Clark's visit to Manila in 2012.

They are hoping to follow the Saskatchewan model and make it easier for foreign trained registered nurses to practice in Canada.

"We really initiated the creation of panel dito sa BC at saka panel dito sa Pilipinas exactly to discuss the barriers towards the recognition of our nurses here," he said.

Quebec meantime is the only province that has opened applications for nurses.

"Nurses are only allowed to apply sa Quebec program. It's based again on point system. But if you are going to Quebec of course you have to be adaptable," said immigration consultant, Natie Sotana.

Atty. Julve added that Quebec has an independent set of rules in accepting foreign workers including nurses.

A global cap of 20,000 application intake in the Quebec Skilled Worker Program has been implemented from August 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.