Alberta is now the second Canadian province after Saskatchewan to begin direct recruitment of nurses from the Philippines.
Alberta and the Philippines recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to assist in the recruitment of registered and licensed practical nurses for the province of Alberta.
The MOU provides for financial, educational and licensing support to ease hired nurses’ transition on the part of Alberta while the Philippine government is expected to encourage nurses to choose Alberta in looking for opportunities abroad. According to a news release, Alberta’s plan to attract internationally educated nurses aims to address barriers faced by many internationally trained nurses.
Alberta’s former premier Jason Kenney said, “We are thrilled to take this important step toward attracting internationally trained nurses from the Philippines to work in Alberta. These professionals are dedicated and highly educated and can make an enormous contribution to bolstering our healthcare system.”
The MOU identifies Alberta as a preferred destination for Filipino nurses and was concluded following months of negotiations between the governments of Alberta and the Philippines. It also provides for a continued cooperative relationship between the two governments to address Alberta’s future healthcare labour needs.
“I welcome the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Philippines and Alberta as a testament to our commitment to strengthen our bilateral relations,” said Susan Ople, secretary of the Philippines’ Department of Migrant Workers. “I am grateful to the recognition given to the contribution of our Filipino nurses to world-class nursing care and standards.”
Other provisions in the agreement include a bursary program to help with costs associated with credentialing in Alberta, options for further partnerships including the potential to establish an Alberta-accredited nursing program based in the Philippines and a streamlined assessment and licensing program for nurses. A joint committee was also struck to monitor the progress on the MOU’s action plan.
The Philippine consulate general in Calgary and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Vancouver spear headed the negotiations that led to the establishment of the MOU.
Alberta is home to more than 175,000 Filipinos based on Canada’s 2016 census.