The BC Government just finished firing thousands of qualified healthcare professions because of a Covid-19 vaccine mandates.
After firing housands of healthcare professionals because of covid vaccine mandates, they announced it will be spending $12 million of tax payer money to fast-track the registration and licensing process for foreign-trained nurses to address critical staffing shortages.
The funding includes $9 million in bursaries to fund 1600 foreign-trained nurses with the costs of assessment fees.
“Our government is committed to addressing the province’s demand for nurses,” said B.C. health minister Adrian Dix on Tuesday. “That’s why we’re launching this comprehensive suite of supports for internationally educated nurses to help them put their skills to use here in B.C.”
The nursing shortage in B.C. much like the rest of Canada were a crisis before the pandemic and worsened during the during the fall and winter when with the introduction of heavy handed vaccine mandates while the Omicron variant of COVID-19 caused a spike in hospitalizations.
According to Dix, the staffing shortage was so severe that 27,937 shifts went unfilled in just one week in January. Despite the debilitating shortages in healthcare professionals, the province has proceeded to implement public-sector layoffs.
According to the Ministry of Health in British Columbia, the vaccine mandate has resulted in the firing of 2,582 employees in public healthcare settings. There are 927 employees from the Interior Health region, 474 from Fraser Health, 393 from Island Health, and 304 from Northern Health, where the shortage is the most severe.
Despite many other provinces lifting their healthcare workers covid-19 vaccine requirements like Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta and Saskatchewan, unvaccinated healthcare workers have been welcomed back to work. In BC, Bonnie Henry is going to triple down on the Covid-19 vaccine mandate. How ever in January Bonnie Henry suggested allowing vaccinated employees that test positive with Covid-19 can continue working, at the time this policy was already in practice in Quebec.
Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms lawyer Charlene Le Beau, speaking with True North on behalf of a group of nurses and other healthcare professionals who were fired for not complying with B.C.’s vaccine mandates, pointed out the with how Covid-19 is changing the mandates no longer serve their purpose. and by hiring foreign-trained nurses to replace our current nurses because of a vaccine status is a “callous and unfair treatment of terminated healthcare workers in B.C.”
“There may have been a healthcare worker shortage in B.C. prior to the vaccine mandate, but the province exacerbated the problem by unnecessarily mandating the vaccine on the healthcare workers,” she said. “They were faced with an ultimatum– either submit to coercion and take this new vaccine, or lose their jobs.”
“Perhaps the province’s money would be better spent on taking care of the healthcare workers in its own backyard before looking further afield to replace the ones whose positions they so callously terminated.”
Justice Centre sues BC to end mandatory vaccine for BC Healthcare workers, the court case is expected to be heard in the summer.