| News

December 1, 2021 – Provincial and federal government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

The following is an update on recent decisions and actions by the provincial and federal governments related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthcare workforce shortage: Two accelerated training programs

Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services, and Jean-François Roberge, Minister of Education, announced the creation of two accelerated training programs to address the labour shortage in the healthcare network.

Accelerated training for nursing assistants

The 1,800-hour training program for nursing assistants will take place over a period of 14 months rather than 22. It will begin in January 2022, and the 2,000 expected nursing assistants will take up their positions in March 2023.

This is a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS). During the training, students will receive scholarships of $20,000, for a total investment of $48 million.

However, they will have to commit to working for two years to keep the scholarship.

Accelerated training for administrative agents in clinical settings

The 240-hour training for administrative agents in clinical settings will be spread over two months. This is a Skills Training Certificate (STC). It will be offered temporarily to regional cohorts of approximately 22 people. A pilot project will begin in mid-December in Gaspésie.

A total of 3,500 scholarships of $4,000 each will be awarded to students, for a total of $14 million.

Administrative agents will enter the healthcare system in the summer of 2022.

It should be noted that admissions for both programs will be made through the Admission FP platform.

“These new healthcare workforce training incentives will help attract more skilled human resources at a time where they are badly needed,” Christian Dubé said.

PCR test for travellers arriving in Canada by air

Jean-Yves Duclos, federal Minister of Health, announced that travellers arriving in Canada by air will have to be tested on arrival at the airport, regardless of their vaccination status.

They will have to self-isolate while waiting to receive the result of their COVID-19 test. These measures will come into effect in the coming days. At this time, the measure does not apply to flights from the United States.

The Minister of Health also announced that Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt have been added to the list of seven countries targeted by the stricter border measures in place since November 26.

A third dose for everyone

Mr. Duclos is asking the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) to provide new guidance on the administration of a booster dose to Canadians as soon as possible.

“There will be, most likely, community transmission of the new variant at some point in Canada. We do not have any evidence of that at this time. We have been able to detect cases of affected travellers thanks to our health measures and rules at the border,” Jean-Yves Duclos said.