New “As of Right” Rules a First in Canada to Attract More Health Care Workers to Ontario
Updated: Jan 20
WINDSOR – With new “As of Right” rules, the Ontario government will allow health care workers registered in other provinces and territories to immediately start working and caring for people in Ontario.
“As we connect people to more convenient care, we need to be bold, innovative and creative,” said Premier Doug Ford. “With our new “As of Right” rules, Ontario is the first province in Canada to allow health care workers from across the country to immediately start providing care. That’s the kind of innovative solutions that will cut down unnecessary bureaucratic delays and help bring reinforcements to the frontlines of our health care system.”
The government will introduce legislative changes in February 2023 that, if passed, will allow Canadian health care workers that are already registered or licensed in another Canadian jurisdiction to practice in Ontario immediately, without having to first register with one of Ontario’s health regulatory colleges. These changes will help health-care workers overcome bureaucratic delays that have made it difficult to practice in Ontario.
“Our government is making health care more accessible for Ontarians, which means recruiting more health care professionals to bolster our health care system and making it easier for them to start working,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “A highly-skilled health care worker from British Columbia or Nova Scotia shouldn’t have to pause their career or face barriers to practice here in Ontario.”
In addition, Ontario will also be helping hospitals and other health organizations temporarily increase staffing when they need to fill vacancies or manage periods of high patient volume, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, the government will introduce legislation that, if passed, will increase staffing levels on a short-term basis by allowing health care professionals, including nurses, paramedics, respiratory therapists, and others, to work outside of their regular responsibilities or settings, as long as they have the knowledge skill, and judgement to do so. This will provide hospitals and other settings with more flexibility to ensure health care professionals are filling the most in-demand roles at the right time.
As a part of the government’s focus on making health care more convenient for Ontarians, the province is hiring more health care professionals to better connect Ontarians to the care they need, when and where they need it. This work is on top of other initiatives to recruit more health care workers, such as making it easier for internationally-educated nurses to join Ontario’s workforce and investing to upskill nurses currently working in the province. As Ontario continues to expand its health workforce, patients can expect more services in their community, shorter wait times and greater access to high-quality care.
These changes, if passed, will mark the first step towards a pan-Canadian portable registration model, the first of its kind for health care professionals in Canada.
Under this proposal, health care professionals from outside the province will only be eligible and permitted to work in Ontario if they have provided safe, competent, and ethical health care in their home province or territory.
Information on practicing in Ontario as an out-of-province health care professional can be found on the HealthForceOntario website.
The Ontario government is expanding medical school education. Ontario is adding 160 undergraduate seats and 295 postgraduate positions over the next five years, the largest expansion of undergraduate and postgraduate education in over 10 years.