As per the 2020 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, “the societal impact of immigration in Canada is not always best told by facts and figures. Sometimes it is better told by the many personal stories of newcomers who bring rich and diverse experiences to Canada and contribute in ways that perhaps only they could.”
A study in case in the Report is that of Dr. Lalita Malhotra, better known as the “Angel of the North”. Originally from Delhi, Dr. Malhotra, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, had migrated to Canada in 1975. Building much trust and admiration over the years, Dr. Malhotra has recently been bestowed the traditional “Star Blanket” by the Indigenous elders in Canada in appreciation of her contribution. She has been awarded many other honours as well – Citizen of the Year in Prince Albert in 2008, the Order of Canada, and the Order of Saskatchewan.
Other famous Canadian immigrant with Indian roots include – Prof. Lakshmi P. Kotra and Dr. Naranjan S. Dhalla.
Immigrating overseas to Canada from India, Prof Lakshmi P. Kotra discovered a new anti-malaria agent through his research at Toronto in Canada. Prof. Kotra has subsequently won many awards, including the Province of Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award.
Dr. Naranjan S. Dhalla, on the other hand, is a professor and research scientist focusing on heart disease therapy and cardiovascular health. The promoter and founder of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences as well as the International Society for Heart Research, Dr Naranjan has various other awards to his credit as well.
According to Statistics Canada [Table 14-10-0202-01], “More than 1.6 million people work in Canada’s health-care sector and many more will be needed in the coming years to ensure continued access to high quality care.”
Further, as per official statistics [Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0023-01], around 500,000 workers in the health-care sector are above 55 years of age. Most of them retiring in the next 10 years or so.
Moreover, as per #ImmigrationMatters: Growing Canada’s future, “there are existing recruitment challenges from everywhere in Canada for nurses, residential care staff and home health-care staff. There’s a clear opportunity for immigrants to play an important role in ensuring there are enough people working in the health-care sector.”
Immigrants have an important contribution to make to the healthcare system in Canada. The sustainability as well as effectiveness of the Canadian health care system will depend on a diverse and integrated workforce.
Key figures: Healthcare workers in Canada*
|1 out of every 4 healthcare workers in Canada is an immigrant.|
|36% of all pharmacists and family physicians throughout Canada are immigrants.|
|39% of all dentists are immigrants.|
|27% of all licensed practical nurses in the country are immigrants.|
|35% of nurse aides and related occupations in Canada are immigrants.|
|Over 40% of newcomers to Canada employed within the health-care sector were those in nursing and residential care facilities, as well as home health-care services.|
* All statistics are from the Statistics Canada 2016 Census.
Immigrants help grow Canada’s future through their contribution to various industries.
As per the 2020 Annual Report, “successful integration requires a whole-of-society approach, including collaboration across all levels of government. In particular, provinces and territories fund their own settlement services and are responsible for sectors that are key to integration, including education, health and social services.”
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