Pan-Canadian Health Human Resource Strategy’s Key Initiatives

Published October 9, 2013

registered-nurse 7113449901_b6949e5edcThe Government of Canada has demonstrated their commitment to improving public access to appropriate, timely, and effective health care with the dynamic Health Human Resource Strategy (HHRS). Built upon the vital work of Commissioner Roy Romanow and the Senate Committee led by Michael Kirby, the HHRS has reviewed and made improvement plans for the current health care system in Canada. The Strategy is pursuing the following four key initiatives in order to achieve its objective of attracting and retaining high-quality, skilled health care providers for the Canadian population.

1. Increasing the Supply of Quality Medical Providers
With the ever-evolving health care needs for the aging Canadian population, medical technology advancements, and new service delivery methods, it is becoming increasingly important to increase the number of quality health care providers. The Strategy endeavors to improve the medical student retention rates by reviewing making crucial updates to the education and clinical training programs nationwide. The HHRS also seeks to improve the recruitment of quality international health care providers into areas with the most need, such as rural and remote regions.

2. Boosting Health Care Productivity
In order to increase productivity in the health care system, the Strategy has placed a priority on the initiative of helping providers develop more efficient use of their skills and experience. It seeks to assist the workforce to use skills effectively through modernizing the health education programs, developing emergent and intelligent system leaders, improving workforce utilization, and increasing the performance of interprofessional collaboration.

3. Building Healthy and Supportive Care Environments
The HHRS is dedicated to maintaining an experienced and skilled health care workforce that will be able to provide the most optimal high-quality, suitable, and safe care for all Canadian patients. Healthy work environments will be fostered through strengthening the development of national medical standards, benchmark assessments, and reporting. To a certain degree, no matter how much nurse practitioners make, how respectable a registered nurse’s salary, or how much other valued healthcare professionals earn, demand will continue to outstrip supply without the right work environments.

4. Developing More Efficient Planning
With this initiative, the Strategy is making the effort to form more effective health human resources to enhance pan-Canadian planning capacity, forecasting, and monitoring to support a more affordable, sustainable medical care system nationwide. Instead of conducting planning by each jurisdiction, HHR planning will now be undertaken to address all pan-Canadian supply and demand problems.

Within just the first five years, the Health Human Resource Strategy has successfully reached accomplishments in terms of health care recruitment and retention. The Strategy has already improved pan-Canadian health human resources data, implemented more cohesive approaches to planning and collaboration, and enhanced the assimilation of immigrant medical professionals to bridge the gap for thriving integration.

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