Ontario’s government launched an online portal to hire more health care positions across the province to increase the frontline capacity of hospitals, clinics, and assessment centres.
On Tuesday, the Health Workforce Matching Portal opened enabling health care providers with a range of experience to join the province’s response to COVID-19.
Those providers include retired or non-active health care professionals, internationally educated health care professionals, students, and volunteers with health care experience.
The portal will efficiently match the availability and skillsets of frontline health care workers to the employers in need of assistance to perform a variety of public health functions, such as case and contact management.
“Our health care heroes on the frontlines of this battle are doing extraordinary work, but they need reinforcements to step up and lend a hand to help defeat this virus,” Premier Doug Ford said.
“Whether you’re retired or in training, we can’t afford to have people with professional health care skills who want to help sitting on the sidelines during this crisis. This is a call to action and I encourage every available person with health care experience to get involved.”
Employers and interested health care professionals can visit the portal and create a profile. Once registered, professionals can add their availability and employers can enter their request for support. Registrants will receive an email notification if matched.
While the province continues to aid frontline workers, the premier also addressed the issue of a “low” supply of medical equipment.
Ford said he was glad an agreement had been made with the manufacturing company 3M to continue providing medical gear to Canada.
“This news was certainly welcome, but we cannot only rely on the global supply chain. We can’t count on other countries,” Ford said.
He added that the federal government needs to come through in his commitment to the provinces to provide the proper equipment.
In the meantime, Ontario will continue to create equipment and supplies.
“We have the manufacturing might to make anything here in Ontario,” he said.
Ford said that Guelph University had donated 10,000 N95 masks, and Algonquin College provided 125,000 masks and 75,000 gowns.
On Tuesday, the premier also picked up 1,000 medical masks from Woodbridge Auto Group factory in Vaughan for distribution.
“It’s a machine that can’t be stopped, our companies are stepping up and providing our healthcare workers what they need,” he said.
On April 1, Ontario issued a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, to enhance the public health units’ human resources capacity and support their ongoing fight against COVID-19.
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On Monday, Ford said that medical supplies in the province are “strained” due to the US not allowing supplies to cross the border.
The premier said that because the US is not allowing personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies cross its borders, getting supplies from other countries during this time is becoming “increasingly difficult.”
“We’re exhausting every avenue available to us and overturning every stone,” Ford said.
He added that supplies in Ontario are getting “low” and there is an increased demand for medical supplies, as more new cases are confirmed every day.
As pf April 7, there are 4,762 known coronavirus cases in the province with 153 deceased and 691 under investigation.