Nursing Saskatchewan back to health


The premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall, was in to talk with Maclean’s this week. (The entire interview will be posted on our website tomorrow.) 

I asked him about a recent study that ranked Saskatchewan second last out of 10 provinces for the quality of its health care—Newfoundland faired the worst. He said the number one obstacle facing the medical system is . . . a shortage of doctors and nurses!  

The interesting remedy: poach nurses from the Philippines. Because English is a first language there and nurses are educated in a similar style as the ones in North America. The province is hoping to attract hundreds of Filipino nurses to its hospitals. Already 300 have been signed and some of them have even arrived and begun work. That, says Wall, will help alleviate all the other problems facing Saskatchewan’s health care system, like long wait times. Other places such as this New Brunswick community are doing this as well.

With all the red tape over accrediting foreign-trained doctors let’s hope this strategy works. Another option: let’s also invest significantly in our medical schools and start turning out more health care workers here. The Canadian Nurses Association says that “Canada has consistently graduated fewer nursing students than it did 30 years ago, despite a 39 per cent increase in the Canadian population over that same time period.”


Nursing Saskatchewan back to health

  1. One point here: Filipino nurses are not only prized for their training (Ireland had a previous campaign a few years back) but also for their bedside manner, which is frequently seen as superior to the trends in nursing since the academic proportion of Western training increased over the last couple of decades.

  2. I don’t know what to make of taking doctors and nurses from third world countries. While I am happy they get an opportunity to live and work here, it seems like we are taking the best and brightest from countries who could use them to advance their own country’s needs and development.

    It would be much better if we trained more doctors and nurses ourselves and not steal them from countries who desperately need to retain their own health care professionals.

  3. I agree with jwl. This raises some serious moral concerns.

  4. Well JWL then the NDP have just the platform for you don’t they? Come to think of it, If I were still a left wing nut I would be out matching with Jack and that’s for sure … after all he has proved his integrity by actually standing up and voting against the gov’t during all those 43 confidence motions where Dion and crew played musical chairs and a day off at the same time, exercising their hands by sitting on them which is why they are going to be devastated this election as Canadian voters (despite the lefts protest otherwise) are not stupid and know full well this unavoidable fact.

  5. Hey, jwl, I agree with you on this one. Quelle surprise!

    (BTW, I did get round to reading Wilkinson’s review of Nudge on reasononline.)

  6. Saskatchewan means they will do more to attract Filipino nurses from Manitoba.

  7. I agree JWL…that’s the irony of the self-appointed world savers. The nanny-state can only exist if the next generation is bigger than the generation it is supporting, and since we have legalized abortion in this country (which I have no problem with), the only way the welfare system can survive is to steal the best and brightest from the poorest of the poor.

    Ahh well, at least we have CIDA to save them.

  8. Thanks for the reference Archangel, didn’t know he wrote a review of the book and it doesn’t surprise me he didn’t like it all that much. Wilkinson is a smart egg, I always watch him on blogging heads.

  9. “and since we have legalized abortion in this country (which I have no problem with), the only way the welfare system can survive is to steal the best and brightest from the poorest of the poor.”

    Why is it that we always assume that abortions are robbing us of Mozarts, Einsteins, doctors and leaders? There’s an equal chance it might be keeping some Bernardos, Hitlers and Vanilla Ices from our midst too.

    Just sayin…

  10. jwl, you raise some serious points.

    But although there might be some serious moral concerns, if we wouldn't take doctors and nurses from third world countries, those people may have never become a doctor or nurse in the first place.

    From personal experience, I know a lot of nurses who come from the Philippines study in the USA to become a nurse and intent to work in the USA… not go back to their home country. If we wouldn't take nurses from the Philippines, these people would have never become a nurse in the first place…

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