You are here

Brain gain and waste in Canada: Physicians and nurses by place of birth and training

TitleBrain gain and waste in Canada: Physicians and nurses by place of birth and training
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsOlaizola, A., and Sweetman A.
Book Title{Recent Trends in International Migration of Doctors, Nurses and Medical Students}
Pages123 - 139
PublisherOECD Publishing
CityParis, FR

This chapter documents changes from 2006 to 2016 in the number of physicians, registered nurses (RNs) and practical nurses (PNs) in Canada. It identifies those working in each occupation as well as those reporting relevant educational credentials but not working in the occupation. The number of practicing physicians and PNs grew at double the rate of the total workforce, whereas practicing RNs only grew at one-third that rate. The high physician growth rate was a result of education and immigration policies intended to address perceptions of increasing physician shortages. In contrast, the low RN and high PN growth rates likely reflect a shift to lower cost PNs with no growth in total nursing relative to the workforce. The growth rate of foreign-born, foreign-trained professionals working in all three professions was larger than the relevant occupation's average growth rate. Despite this, the percentage of foreign-born, foreign-trained individuals not working in their trained profession also increased for physicians and RNs. The net effect is that the percentage of foreign-born, foreign-trained potential physicians and RNs working in their profession declined. This "brain waste" reflects mismatches between health and immigration policies.

Document URL