COVID-19 and Canada’s Underutilized Internationally Educated Health Professionals

November 25, 2020

By World Education News and Reviews |

There is growing evidence of the disproportionate negative economic and health impacts of COVID-19 on immigrant, low-income Canadian women of colour. Many of these Canadians are frontline, essential workers in Canada’s health care sector.

According to the 2016 census, fully a third of the nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates in Canada are immigrants, and 86 percent are women. The frontline workforce in the long-term care (LTC) sector in particular is largely made up of immigrant, female, visible minorities: 86 percent of workers in nursing homes and 89 percent in home care are women. “Racialized” women make up 33 percent of nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates, and 38 percent of home support workers, housekeepers, and related occupations. These workers are therefore particularly vulnerable, given the high rates of COVID-19 infection among both long-term care residents and those who care for them. The Canadian Institute for Health Information reports that nearly 20 percent of all those who tested positive for the coronavirus in Canada as of late July were health care workers.

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