Last July, the Progressive Conservative government then in power announced the signing of this contract to attract 150 doctors to the province. According to the agreement, 50 of them must settle in the north of the province, 50 in Winnipeg and 50 in rural areas.
In the original agreement signed on July 24th Canadian Health Laboratories, a Toronto-based healthcare staffing agency, does not mention recruiting French-speaking doctors. However, a spokesperson for Common Care confirmed this was the case on the day of the signing (new window).
However, a contract amendment added almost a month later on August 15 stated:
Ten percent of the 150 primary care physicians required must be bilingual in English and French.
10% doctors, one
Shared Health was responsible for publishing the call for proposals on April 14, 2023. It is also this company that oversees all health services in Manitoba and stipulated that 15 of the doctors hired had to be bilingual.
The 10 per cent target was set based on the proportion of Manitoba's population that self-identifies as French-speakingexplains a spokesperson for Shared Health. According to Statistics Canada data from the 2021 Census (new window)8.4% of Manitobans have some level of French.
This was the goal from the start and the contract was changed accordinglyadded the Common Care spokesperson to explain the delay between the initial signing and the addition of the amendment. However, he does not explain why this figure was not included in the agreement from the start.
This goal just seems right to mesays the general director of Santé en français, Jérémie Roberge, who, however, specifies that the organization
has no goal specifically with regard to the recruitment of French-speaking doctors.
He adds that Santé en français has updated its population data taking into account the census and the definition contained in the law to support the development of the Manitoba Francophonie.
We are exactly a little over 9%, almost 10% of the total population of Manitoba who can speak French.he assures.
The Treaty between Manitoba and Canadian Health Laboratories The term is two years, with an option to extend by one year. The amount was censored in documents obtained through the freedom of information request.
The company recruits in several English-speaking countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, then-Health Minister Audrey said last July. Gordon (new window). These countries were also mentioned on the company's website, but the page has since disappeared.
However, we don't know how Canadian Health Laboratories intends to take steps to find physicians who speak French in these countries or if the Company does business in French-speaking countries. The company was contacted by Radio-Canada several times over several months but never responded.
However, a job listing available on the website regarding job opportunities in Manitoba still states
Being bilingual in French is an advantage.
Santé en français is responsible for the linguistic assessment
Common Care, in turn, relies on the company that won the tender.
Canadian Health Laboratories has deployed specialized recruiters to a number of countries and is planning virtual recruiting events to provide information about opportunities for physicians in Manitobahe said.
For its part, Santé en français was not directly involved in the contract negotiations.
It is not necessarily our responsibility to intervene at this level when there are agreements between Shared Health and a third partyexplains Jérémie Roberge.
Nevertheless, his organization is responsible for assessing the French language skills of health workers. These checks are carried out at the end of the recruitment process.
It is a service that works on demand. Therefore, it is the designated bilingual institutions that carry them out. They are sent to us, processed and then we carry out an assessment of language skillsexplains Jérémie Roberge.
No doctor on duty anymore
It remains seven months after the signing of the contract between the province and Canadian Health LaboratoriesTo date, no doctor recruited through this initiative has been stationed in Manitoba.
Recruitment efforts are underway. Like the contract with Canadian Health Laboratories Because the initiative is still in its early stages, no candidates associated with this initiative have yet arrived in Manitobastates a spokesperson for Shared Health.
For its part, the Ministry of Health said Manitoba Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara could not be reached for comment on Friday.
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