NDP Deputy Leader Doly Begum (Scarborough Southwest), the Official Opposition critic for International Credentials, responded to the Conservative government’s directives to the College of Nurses of Ontario and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario:
“This announcement comes at a time when our hospitals are in dire need. Change is welcome — but we need to see much more than this.
Today’s directives to the colleges of nurses and physicians don’t take any action. Ford and Jones have not provided funding or a pathway finish the credentialling of doctors and nurses who want to work in Ontario. We cannot afford more vagueness. We need details, we need action.
The actual holdups are that there aren’t enough education spaces, internships or residency placements for internationally educated doctors and nurses. And thousands of the newcomer doctors and nurses — many of whom are working low wage jobs while they wait — cannot afford the education that is available.
We need program funding, we need education grants, and we need it now.
It’s already taken years too long for Ford and Jones to finally acknowledge that there are thousands of internationally credentialed doctors and nurses here who want to help. Through two years of a pandemic and now the worst hospital staffing crisis in Ontario’s history, people have suffered while health professionals that could have helped were forced to sit on the sidelines. These weak directives better be the start of a whole different approach.”