Newcomers & Proposed Revamp of Alberta's Healthcare Programs

Newcomers & Proposed Revamp of Alberta's Healthcare Programs

Michael Zimmer Published:
December 02, 2023

Earlier this month, Premier Danielle Smith of Alberta revealed plans to divide the current Alberta Health Services (AHS) system into four distinct entities with the aim of enhancing access to healthcare.

During a press conference in early November, Smith emphasized that this initiative intends to structure Alberta's healthcare delivery system based on functionality, with the goal of diminishing wait times in emergency rooms and for surgeries, enhancing accessibility to innovative treatments, and increasing staff recruitment. More specifically, decentralizing healthcare in the province involves organizations delivering health services across primary care, acute care, continuing care, and mental health/addiction care.

Effect on newcomers & job opportunities

In 2022, Alberta welcomed almost 50,000 new Permanent Residents (PRs), through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), making it the fourth-largest destination for immigrants in Canada by the number of PRs issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The forthcoming alterations to healthcare delivery in Alberta are poised to affect a substantial portion of the Canadian newcomer population. This impact is expected to manifest in various aspects, encompassing healthcare accessibility as intended by the reforms and potential implications for employment opportunities

According to Alberta's Premier, a key objective of this reform is to hire more personnel in the healthcare sector. Consequently, individuals aspiring to settle in Canada may find increased employment prospects in the province. Indications of this possibility are evident in implementations at the Federal level also, such as the recent induction of categories-based selection in Express Entry selection process.

These draws, differing from the usual emphasis on a candidate's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in standard Express Entry draws, prioritize the selection of immigration candidates based on specific skills and previous work experience. In 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) identified six categories as the focal points for category-based draws. These categories for the current year prioritize candidates with particular qualifications.

  • French-language proficiency,
  • Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM),
  • Trades,
  • Transportation,
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food,
  • Healthcare

Attracting immigrants to prospective areas of Alberta

For individuals from other countries considering Alberta as their destination, the province provides avenues for various newcomers, including temporary foreign workers and entrepreneurs. As an illustration, Alberta's Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is referred to as the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). This provincial immigration initiative comprises different streams tailored for workers and entrepreneurs, each having distinct prerequisites, such as the requirement for a pre-application job offer.

For workers: there are options like the Alberta Opportunity Stream, offering a route to permanent residence for skilled workers in eligible occupations, and the Rural Renewal Stream, designed for candidates with a job offer in rural Alberta.

For entrepreneurs: entrepreneurs can explore streams like the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream for international graduates of designated Alberta institutions aiming to start a business, and the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream for those who graduated outside Canada and wish to establish a business in Alberta.

Check if you qualify to migrate to Alberta through AINP/AAIP. Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn about finding employment in Canada, making your initial days stress-free, etc.

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