The Province is taking action to further increase the number of qualified health care assistants in British Columbia to continue improving care for seniors.
Government, through ministries of Health and Advanced Education, Skills and Training, is providing approximately $3.64 million over the next two years to create 418 new health care assistant seats in 14 post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia. Health care assistants are also known as care aides, community health workers and other titles.
There are currently an estimated 25,500 health-care assistants employed by health authorities and affiliated employers in British Columbia. Health care assistants provide personal support services for people living with disabilities and those living with acute or chronic illnesses, including seniors. They work in a variety of settings, including long-term care homes, acute care, home support and assisted living.
There are 17 publicly-funded post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. that offer health care assistant training. Training programs are approximately six to 10 months long. The first of the new seats became available to post-secondary institutions in September 2019.
Increasing the number of trained health care assistants into B.C. is part of the government’s commitment to strengthen supports available to seniors. The government is investing approximately $1 billion over three years to improve care for seniors, including investments in primary care, home health, long-term care and assisted living. This also includes $240 million over three years to increase staffing levels in long-term care homes, with the goal of achieving 3.36 direct care hours per resident day – on average – across all health authorities by the end of 2020-21.
- In 2019, 19% of B.C.’s population is 65 or over. In 15 years, this percentage is expected to rise to 25%.
- In 2018, the ministries of Health and Advanced Education, Skills and Training provided approximately $3.3 million to create 384 health care assistant seats in 11 post-secondary institutions in B.C.
Lower Vancouver Island
The ministries of Health and Advanced Education will provide funding to the following post-secondary institutions, to add health care assistant seats on the lower Vancouver Island, delivered by:
48 additional seats