337 new Health Career Access Program positions have been approved, expanding opportunities for people to get into the field.
Interior Health (IH) officials said this will add the 20 new pilot positions within acute care at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, 205 in long-term care and 112 in home health.
Those interested in a career as a health care assistant can apply through the College of the Rockies, Selkirk College, Okanagan College, Thompson Rivers University or Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.
“We’re proud of HCAP, a joint and fully funded training initiative between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, to address the shortage of health care assistants (HCA),” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This important program combines a paid work component, paid tuition and an educational stipend that creates an entry point to employment in health care.”
According to IH officials, new hires will start as health care support workers. In this role, staff will provide non-direct care at long-term, acute or home care sites.
With the expanded seats in the program, IH hopes to better support the aging population at home and in care and provide higher-quality care to seniors.
After successfully completing the six to eight-month-long program, graduates will become HCAs.
“I am so proud to see more people consider joining the health system in health care support positions,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “There are so many valuable and important careers that start right here with the Health Career Access program in Interior Health.”
IH officials add that the cost of the HCAP program is covered while helping to place graduates in entry-level positions.
“Each HCAP opportunity is equivalent to receiving a full scholarship to go to school,” said IH staff. “Graduates sign a 12-month Return of Service Agreement with IH in exchange for this funding.”