World Education Services

Internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) play a vital role in Canada’s health care system. Yet nearly half (47%) of IEHPs in Canada are either unemployed or underemployed (Statistics Canada, 2020).

Numerous data sources capture small pieces of the IEHP landscape in Canada. Although much is understood about the contributions and underutilization of IEHP skills, the existing data does not provide the full scope of the issue.

As countries around the world continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to ensure that qualified health professionals are available in sufficient numbers to respond to the needs of Canada’s health care system. This policy brief can help researchers and policymakers understand the extent of skill underutilization of IEHPs, the scope and the limitations of existing data, and where improvements can be most impactful.

In this brief:

  • Learn what the available data tell us about the critical role of IEHPs as part of Canada’s health human resources and the extent of skills underutilization
  • Understand the scope and limitations of existing sources of data on IEHPs in Canada
  • Consider where improvements to data collection may be most impactful in informing effective strategies towards ending the skills underutilization of IEHPs