Ernie Eves government helps internationally-trained pharmacists practice in Ontario
TORONTO, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - The first graduating class of the International Pharmacy Graduate Program will help meet skills shortages in the health care system and ensure Ontarians continue to enjoy access to pharmacy services, Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities said.
"I congratulate the 21 graduates on their individual achievement, which will help strengthen the delivery of pharmacy services to Ontarians," Cunningham said. "They are helping to develop an innovative program that is opening the door for other internationally-trained pharmacists."
"Building a skilled workforce is vital to Ontario's economic health and growth," the Minister said. "Bridge training programs provide opportunities for internationally-trained professionals to develop the skills and experience they need to practice in our province, and provide employers with experienced, motivated employees."
The provincial government invested in the International Pharmacy Graduate Program as part of its first investment in bridge training projects in the 2000 budget. In the 2001 budget, the provincial government invested more than $3.6 million in nine additional projects to help qualified, internationally- trained professionals and tradespersons with the skills and knowledge they need to practise in Ontario, without duplicating what they have already learned elsewhere.
The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores has reported 600 vacancies for pharmacists in Ontario, while the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists is concerned about recruiting enough well-trained pharmacists to fill positions in institutional and academic centres.
"The College of Pharmacists is very proud of what has been accomplished by the International Pharmacy Graduate Program," said Deanna Laws, Registrar, Ontario College of Pharmacists. "Thanks to support from the provincial government and the leadership of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, the program will make a significant contribution to the profession and is a model for other industries wanting to help internationally-trained professionals participate in their workforces and the provincial economy."
The International Pharmacy Graduate Program is the result of a partnership among the Ontario College of Pharmacists, the University of Toronto and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The web page for the initiative can be found at www.newontariopharmacist.com.
Disponible en français
For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.ca
For further information: Media Contacts: Bruce Skeaff, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, (416) 325-2709; Dave Ross, Minister's Office (416) 326-1625