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May 18, 2004
For immediate release

Atlantic Provinces Launch Health Education Training Study

Health and Social Services

Halifax, Nova Scotia – The Atlantic Health Human Resources Association (AHHRA), acting on behalf of Atlantic Ministers responsible for Health and Post-Secondary Education, announced today that it has signed a contract with Med-Emerg International Inc. (MEII), to conduct a study in the four Atlantic provinces to assess human resources requirements in occupations in the health care sector in Atlantic Canada.

Approximately $1.2 million in funding is being provided via the Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Labour Market Development Agreements administered by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and by the Canada/New Brunswick Labour Market Development Agreement administered by the NB Department of Training and Employment Development.

“We are pleased to announce $865,820 in federal funding to enable the Atlantic Health Human Resources Association to assess the current labour market and identify human resource requirements for occupations in the health care sector across the Atlantic provinces,” said the Honourable Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Halifax West, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Volpe, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. “The collaborative efforts of provincial and federal departments and health care providers across all four Atlantic provinces will help to maximize results and ensure that labour market and human resource issues in the health care sector are addressed collectively.”

Chester Gillan, Minister of Health and Social Services in Prince Edward Island, sees the study as the next logical step in a process started in the province more than three years ago.

"PEI has been, and continues to be, committed to maintaining an adequate supply of health professionals in the province. We completed an extensive study in December 2001 on the supply and demand of health professionals in the province. The Health Education Training Study is a wonderful next step. Training is not available on PEI for the majority of health professions, so it is crucial for PEI to partner in regional initiatives which address the education requirements for its health human resources."

“The Province of New Brunswick is proud to be providing more than $406,000 towards this important work through the Canada/New Brunswick Labour Market Development Agreement,” said New Brunswick Training and Employment Development Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney. “This study will assist us in addressing the training needs in the health care sector and the gaps in the labour market. These types of initiatives are consistent with our vision of creating a skilled, educated and adaptable workforce, as outlined in Greater Opportunity: New Brunswick’s Prosperity Plan.”

The one-year study builds on work previously done by each Atlantic province to determine health human resource needs. Based on this earlier work, a profile of regional requirements for major health occupations, now and in the future, will be developed. Also, a re-usable, scenario-based education and training planning tool will be employed to assist the four provinces in determining what type and how many education and training programs will be needed to meet future demand for health occupations in the region.

“This project will help us better predict Atlantic Canada’s future health education and training needs, so that we can prepare the right number and mix of health professionals,” said Glenn Davis, the Project Coordinator for the AHHRA. “It is an honour to be a part of this project and to work on behalf of the four Atlantic governments with a company with the depth of experience and expertise demonstrated by Med-Emerg.”

Med-Emerg International Inc. was the successful vendor resulting from a public tendering process. MEII specializes in the coordination and delivery of emergency and primary health care related services in Canada. These services include physician and nurse staffing and recruitment, clinical management services, the development and management of urgent care centres, a national drug infusion program, and national and international health care advisory and consulting services. The AHHRA has indicated that the provinces were pleased to be working with a company of Med-Emerg’s experience and expertise.

The Atlantic Health Human Resources Association is a non-profit organization incorporated on behalf of Atlantic provincial governments to create a regional planning framework for the improved management of health education and training programs.

Media Contact: Sara Underwood
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