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No word if internationally trained nurses have been assigned to Sudbury

Health Minister Christine Elliott announced this week that Ontario was tapping internationally educated nurses to work in hospitals as COVID-19 staff shortages grow

Ontario hospitals have been told they can expect to see more nurses arriving for work thanks to a new initiative approved by the Ministry of Health that will allow internationally educated nurses to join the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Every nurse matters," said Matthew Anderson, CEO of Ontario Health during a news conference Tuesday.  

"Every person that we can get to that frontline of care makes a difference. And so we're very keen to get this underway. It's fabulous to work with it with the College of Nurses to make this happen," Anderson added. 

He said the first cohort of new nurses, estimated at about 300, would soon be matched up with about 50 Ontario hospitals to get that first group working right away. 

HSN communications manager Jason Turnbull said he was aware of the announcement but said at this point it doesn't appear that any of the new nurses is being assigned to Health Sciences North  (HSN), the largest hospital in Northern Ontario.

"From what I’m hearing it looks like those nurses are going to Southern or South western Ontario hospitals who are dealing with significant staffing issues and hospitalizations. No word on any plans to send anyone here," said Turnbull.

Health Minister Christine Elliott told the news conference the initiative is part of efforts to bolster the health-care system as the Omicron variant continues to surge.

"Our government is committed to supporting our health-care system and our amazing frontline health-care workers so they can continue to provide care for our most vulnerable patients during this very challenging time," she said.

The news conference was told that the new nurses, and other new health care workers, will have to meet all Ontario medical licensing requirements for their specific jobs. This involves meeting requirements set out by Ontario Health and the Ontario College of Nurses and that some of the new workers would be deployed to work as part of a team under the supervision of a regulated health care provider, such as a registered nurse or doctor.


Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter

About the Author: Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter

Len Gillis is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter at covering health care in northeastern Ontario and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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