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Coronavirus: Quebec looks to hire 550 orderlies from abroad to staff long-term care homes

Quebec, a hot spot for the novel coronavirus, is hoping to bolster staffing in its hard-hit nursing homes by hiring 550 orderlies from abroad.

Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette announced the pilot project on Thursday as the province’s COVID-19 caseload rose to 49,702.

“With this pilot program, we want to pick 550 orderlies because the needs are urgent,” he said.

READ MORE: Quebec long-term care homes grappling with major challenges, military report outlines

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The announcement comes one day after Premier François Legault announced the province is launching a recruitment campaign to hire 10,000 orderlies in response to critical staffing shortages in long-term care homes.

Amid the health crisis, Jolin-Barrette said the ministry wants to proceed quickly and has already undertaken virtual recruitment missions abroad to identify potential short-term candidates.

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The province is looking for potential applicants with two years of work experience equivalent to that of an orderly in their country of origin and who pledge to commit to working for at least two years in a long-term care home.

READ MORE: Quebec nurses, health-care workers protest working conditions, lack of vacations

Jolin-Barrette said that more details about the pilot program will be available in the coming weeks.

“We are still working on it, and in the next weeks, we will be able to make that publication and to make the rules clearer,” he said.

— With files from the Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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