Healthcare professionals are in short supply in Ontario and globally, a situation exacerbated by the pandemic. Ontario has one of the lowest ratios of doctors to population in Canada and continues facing shortages in health human resources due to retirements, fatigue, and dissatisfaction. Strategies to increase the supply of healthcare workers are vital to building a resilient system to cope with the health sector challenges that Ontario will face in the future with the province’s rapidly aging population.
There has been a historical reliance on internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) to fill the gap. They are here but are often underutilized or face lengthy pathways to acceptance and registration. More effective strategies to integrate them into the workforce are needed. Competency assessments are a proven method that is efficient and effective.
Sten Ardal, CEO of Touchstone Institute, and Munk school graduate Sabrina Hyde recommend solutions to address the shortage of medical professionals, recognize that investment in assessments is an important complement to other funded programs, and promote Ontario as an active participant in efforts to create consistent assessment standards across Canada.
Ontario 360 is a purpose-built initiative to scan Ontario’s economic challenges and opportunities and develop evidence-based public policy ideas to inform and shape the Ontario government’s policy planning and priorities. The goal is to engage with senior Ontario policymakers to identify issues that the government is grappling with and then to commission independent policy experts to produce research, analysis, and policy recommendations to contribute to the government’s own internal policy planning and development. The goal is to facilitate engagement between external policy experts and key policymakers to support evidence-based policymaking in the Province of Ontario.