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Canada invites 2,000 healthcare workers from Nigeria, others in one week

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Within a period of one week, Canada has invited 2,000 healthcare workers from other countries including Nigeria to migrate into the country.

On June 28, 2023, the country invited 500 workers to apply for its Permanent Residency (PR) under its Express Entry (EE) healthcare category-based selection draws. On July 6, 1,500 workers were also invited.

“We are bringing more health care workers to Canada. We’ve changed the approach to immigration by bringing an additional focus on certain sectors facing serious labour shortages,”Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, tweeted via his Twitter handle last week.

He said the first sector to benefit from this new process is healthcare.

“Today, 500 skilled healthcare workers will be invited to immigrate to Canada, and, we will invite 1,500 more,” he said.

Fraser added that the new program is expected to double the number of healthcare workers coming to Canada through the federal Express Entry system this year.

“This announcement will strengthen our healthcare system and help provide more Canadians with the high quality care they deserve,” he said.

Read also: Nigeria eyes malaria vaccine consignment at WHO’s second window

The eligible workers under the EE healthcare category are audiologists and speech language pathologists, chiropractors, dentists, dieticians and nutritionists, education counsellors, general practitioners and family physicians

Others are instructors of persons with disabilities, kinesiologists & other professional occupation in therapy and assessment, licensed practical nurses, massage therapists and medical laboratory assistants & related technical occupations.

The rest are medical laboratory technologists, medical radiation technologists, medical sonographers, nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates, nurse practitioners, nursing co-ordinators and supervisors, occupational therapists and optometrists.

Canada’s aging population and lower birth rate has been shrinking its labour force, forcing it to intensify its efforts to attract large, young and vibrant immigrants by offering immigration-friendly policies.

According to a recent job vacancy data by Statistics Canada, there were 153,000 vacant positions in health care and social assistance in April 2023, the highest level across all employment sectors.

Last year, the Canadian federal government unveiled an aggressive plan to take in 500,000 immigrants a year by 2025, with almost 1.5 million new immigrants coming to the country over the next three years.

The country landed 437,120 PRs in 2022, a nearly eight percent increase from the total number of PRs in 2021, according to data the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

For Nigeria, it grew by 41.9 percent to 22,130 last year from 15,595 in the previous year.