Province recruiting long-term care staff and providing more flu shots

Province recruiting long-term care staff and providing more flu shots

The Province wants to recruit thousands of health care workers from amongst unemployed hospitality workers who understand ‘service’ and can train on the job.

The $44.1 million Health Career Access Program is meant to shore up staffing in long-term care and assisted living facilities as part of a $1.6 billion preparedness plan for the coming fall and winter.

The program will target displaced hospitality, food services, retail and tourism workers to train on the job as Care Aides or providing indirect patient care such as food services, cleaning and security.

Recruitment and training programs will aim to fill 2,000 vacancies and train an additional 3,000 long term care support staff. Another 2,000 will work in infection prevention and control.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the new health care workers would make a huge difference in the lives of BC seniors.

“Expanding the number of health-care assistants in our province will significantly strengthen the level of care in long-term care homes. The Health Career Access Program will help people get trained for some of the most important jobs in B.C.”

Another $374 million will purchase 45,000 Fluzone-High Dose immunizations for all long-term care and assisted living residents. The higher dose vaccine is designed to protect people over 65 from influenza.

The province is also purchasing an additional 450,000 influenza vaccine doses for the 2020-21 influenza season, meaning approximately two million doses will be available.

Dr. Bonnie Henry is asking everyone who can to get a flu shot and ease demands on the health care system as the pandemic continues.

“The COVID-19 pandemic makes it more important than ever to protect yourself and your family from influenza. By getting immunized against influenza, you’re protecting yourself and those who are vulnerable to complications from the flu.”

The Hospital at Home program practiced worldwide will launch at Victoria General Hospital allowing eligible patients to receive 24/7 care at home rather than risking transmission in hospital and further burdening the health care system.

$42.3 million has been dedicated to the program that provides in-person and virtual visits connecting patients with nursing staff and physicians experienced in acute care and hospital medicine.

Meanwhile other pandemic programs including rural and remote community health care, contact tracing hiring and increased testing continue. The province plans to hire up to 600 staff for contact tracing and provide up to 20,000 COVID-19 tests a day.

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