Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care, issued the following statement in recognition of Health Care Assistant Day on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021:
“I’d like to observe Health Care Assistant Day to raise awareness of the multi-faceted and important roles of health-care assistants.
“Health-care assistants go by many different titles. They are community-health workers, resident-care assistants, home-support workers, nurse assistants and personal-support workers.
“They are the ones who provide personal care and support in a variety of settings, including assisted living, group homes, long-term care homes, community care and acute-care hospitals. They are there every day to support people with chronic complex conditions, physical or cognitive disabilities, and/or those who require end-of-life care.
“The work health-care assistants do demands incredible commitment, compassion and kindness. In B.C., we have almost 40,000 people who have stepped up to this role.
“As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on our health-care system. Our health workers, including health-care assistants, are feeling the strain, but they continue to be pillars of strength and compassion for the people they care for.
“Demand for health-care assistants is increasing across the health system and will continue to increase as more support is required. Through the Health Career Access Program, government is recruiting 3,000 health-care workers in home and community care, long-term care homes and assisted-living facilities throughout the province.
“This is part of a broader strategy to recruit 7,000 health-care workers across B.C. to strengthen the health system. Starting as a health-care support worker, those who apply to the Health Career Access Program will be paid for their time and have their course fees covered, while receiving the training and education needed to succeed as a health-care assistant.
“As of Oct. 6, 2021, a total of 2,600 health-care support workers have been hired through the Health Career Access Program, many of whom have already started their formal health-care training. We are also making it easier for Canadian out-of-province health-care assistants to work in B.C.
“In November 2019, the Health Care Assistant Expedited Registration Pathway was implemented, which allows for a more efficient registration process for out-of-province health-care assistants. This pathway was temporarily revised to further streamline the registration process during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To the nearly 40,000 health-care assistants already working in B.C., the Province thanks you for your contributions. Your work truly makes a difference in the lives of British Columbians. Please take time to recognize the hard work of health-care assistants in your community today.”