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B.C. trains more paramedics for emergency health care

British Columbians will have improved access to emergency health services as the Province invests approximately $2 million into expanding paramedic training programs in communities around the province.

“Paramedics are the backbone of our emergency health services and our government is acting to strengthen our health system,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “Our government’s investment will create opportunities for people to begin careers in emergency health care, leading to faster response times for British Columbians when they need it.”

Government is providing approximately $2 million in funding to the Justice Institute of B.C. (JIBC) to expand its paramedic programming. The funding will help the primary care paramedic certificate program to be delivered to more than 100 students in Chilliwack, Kelowna, New Westminster, Trail and Victoria; and emergency medical responder training to approximately 30 participants in Cranbrook, Port Alberni and Prince George. The emergency medical responder training is a prerequisite for the primary care paramedic certificate program.

“When people need emergency care, paramedics are often the first on scene, providing quality care and support for people and their families,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “That’s why our government is continuing to invest in training opportunities for paramedics, alongside other in-demand careers in health care, so that people have timely access to the care they need, when they need it. This is another action we are taking as part of B.C.’s Health Human Resources Strategy to build a better health-care system for B.C. for generations to come.”

The funding comes from the Community Workforce Response Grant, which provides funding for communities and sectors to support in-demand skills training leading to secure and sustainable employment for British Columbians.

The expanded paramedic training locations are where JIBC offers training. The funding may be used to pay for transportation and housing for participants travelling from outside of those communities.

Since April 2021, the Community Workforce Response Grant has provided more than $20 million in funding to communities and service providers to train more than 1,665 people in health care-related positions. Examples include training to become primary-care paramedics, medical-laboratory assistants, health-care assistants, personal-support workers, medical-unit clerks and mental-health workers.

Creating opportunities for people to join the health-care workforce in B.C. is part of government’s Health Human Resources Strategy, which was announced on Sept. 29, 2022. The strategy supports patients by ensuring they get the health services they need and are cared for by a healthy workforce. It focuses on 70 key actions to recruit, train and retain health-care workers, while redesigning the health-care system to foster workplace satisfaction and innovation.

Investing in training for emergency health-care workers is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready plan to make education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.



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