View Full Version : Alberta, British Columbia And Ontario Top Migration Destinations For Health Care Workers, Canada

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09-30-2007, 02:01 PM
Between 1996 and 2001, the province of Alberta attracted more health care workers than any other province or territory in Canada-surpassing B.C. as the number one destination for the first time in 10 years. In addition to Alberta and B.C., Ontario and Prince Edward Island were the only other two provinces that attracted more health care workers than they lost over that five-year span. A series of reports from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Distribution and Internal Migration of Canada's Health Care Workforce, is the first of its kind to use census data to look at the supply and migration patterns of the majority of health care workers in Canada, including a number of individual health occupations, such as dentists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, physicians and registered nurses.

"Canadians depend on the availability of a broad and varied workforce to tend to their health care needs," said Francine Anne Roy, CIHI's Director of Health Resources Information. "Improving what we know about where these workers are, and how they are moving, is crucial to developing the recruitment and retention strategies required to maintain a strong health care workforce into the future."

Comparisons of health care worker migration in the periods 1986 to 1991 and 1996 to 2001 show that most provinces lost more health care workers to migration than they gained, with Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Saskatchewan reporting the greatest net losses of health care providers through interprovincial migration in both periods. Ontario and B.C. were the only two provinces to report increases in both migration periods, though the increases were much smaller in the latter period (1996 to 2001). Both P.E.I. and Alberta experienced a loss in the first period, but an increase in the second, with Alberta seeing the largest growth of any province (4%) in its health care workforce between 1996 and 2001.

Health care workers are following similar migration patterns to the Canadian workforce at large, in terms of which provinces they're moving to and which provinces they're moving from. In 2001, there were just under 750,000 people classified as health care workers in Canada. This represents a growth of 8% in the decade between 1991 and 2001, during a period in which the general population grew by 10%. The ratio of health care workers per 100,000 people in Canada decreased by 2% between 1991 and 2001.

Health care workers more mobile than most

The latest data show that for the migration period from 1996 to 2001, health care providers were generally more mobile than the Canadian workforce at large, though the majority of that migration occurred between communities within the same province, rather than between the provinces. Occupational therapists, respiratory therapists and audiologists/speech language pathologists were the most likely to move from one place to another; while dentists, licensed practical nurses and medical laboratory technicians were the least likely to relocate.

Characteristics of the migrant health care worker: urban and rural distribution

A year-by-year analysis of physician migration using the Scott's Medical Database indicated that, on average each year, 1.4% of Canada's active physicians move from one province or territory to another, while another 5% move from one community to another within the same province. Female physicians were more likely to move intraprovincially, but interprovincial migration rates were quite similar from one sex to another. Higher proportions of English-speaking physicians migrated interprovincially, but French-speaking physicians were more than twice as likely as English-speaking physicians to move from one community to another. Younger physicians were more likely to migrate than older physicians.

As with many of the other occupations listed in today's series of reports, rural physicians tend to be more mobile than their urban colleagues; their mobility patterns include movement away from rural areas of the country. Every year, rural areas of the country lose, on average, 1.3% of their physicians to urban areas of the country. In 2001, approximately 21% of the Canadian population lived in rural and small-town areas of the country, a proportion that has decreased by 2% since 1991. The 1996-to-2001 census period saw an overall increase in the numbers of pharmacists, dentists and physiotherapists moving to rural or small-town Canada, while more physicians, medical laboratory technologists and dental assistants were moving to urban areas, away from rural areas and small towns.

"Just like the average Canadian, health care workers migrate for different reasons, some personal and some professional," said Dr. Roger Pitblado, author of the CIHI reports. "It is important to track these movements, but it is also important to understand how these migration patterns relate to what is going on in neighbouring communities, and in the rest of the country as a whole."

Aging workforce seen across occupations

Overall, Canadian health care workers are aging faster than the general workforce. Of the occupational groups examined in this study, the average ages in 2001 ranged from 35 years for dental assistants to 48 years for physicians. This is up from 1991, when the average ages ranged from 32 years to 45 years. The average age of a registered nurse rose from 39 in 1991 to 43 in 2001.

About CIHI

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) collects and analyzes information on health and health care in Canada and makes it publicly available. Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments created CIHI as a not-for-profit, independent organization dedicated to forging a common approach to Canadian health information. CIHI's goal: to provide timely, accurate and comparable information. CIHI's data and reports inform health policies, support the effective delivery of health services and raise awareness among Canadians of the factors that contribute to good health.

Figures and tables

- Table 1. Top Three Destination Provinces With Positive Net Interprovincial Migration Counts for the 1986-to-1991, 1991-to-1996 and 1996-to-2001 Migration Periods, click here (http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/en/media_27sep2007_tab1_e.html) (Table 2 in the report)

- Figure 1. All Health Care Occupational Groups: Net Interprovincial Migration Rates (Percent) by Province for the 1986-to-1991 and 1996-to-2001 Migration Periods , click here (http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/en/media_27sep2007_fig1_e.html) (Figure 11 in the report)

- Figure 2. Migrants as a Percentage of the Total Population or Workforce (Based on Place of Residence Five Years Ago) for the Total Population, General Canadian Workforce and Selected Health Care Occupational Groups, Canada, 2001, click here (http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/en/media_27sep2007_fig2_e.html)(Figure 9 in the report)

- Figure 3. Rural and Small-Town Net-Migration Rates (Percent) for Selected Health Care Occupational Groups and All Non-Health Care Occupations, Canada, 1986-to-1991, 1991-to-1996 and 1996-to-2001 Migration Periods, click here (http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/en/media_27sep2007_fig3_e.html) (Figure 12 in the report)


- Information on: Distribution and Internal Migration of Canada's Health Care Workforce (http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/dispPage.jsp?cw_page=AR_1749_E&cw_topic=1749)

http://www.cihi.ca (http://www.cihi.ca/)

08-14-2010, 05:14 PM
Lets treat these men & women that we expect to fight & die for the country like children when it comes to their personal life.