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Minister Sean Fraser issues the first invitations under Express Entry for skilled newcomers in the health care field, and Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announces the second benefit period under the Canada Dental Plan.

On that, and more, here is your Syntax Weekly Health Round-Up.

  • On the Hill
    • The House of Commons and the Senate are now adjourned for the summer. The House is scheduled to return on Monday, September 18, while the Senate is scheduled to return on Tuesday, September 19. The most discussed subjects during this session were COVID-19, inflation and the cost of living, and the carbon tax.  Despite significant work to finish several studies prior to the end of session, political maneuverings between the parties and obstructionist activities delayed agreement by the Standing Committee on Health regarding a report for its study of children’s health. That report is now anticipated to be finalized and tabled upon the return of MPs in September. Committee MPs did, however, finalize and table Report 15 relating to their study of Bill C-284, An Act to establish a national strategy for eye care. 
  • Around Cabinet
    • Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the first invitations under Express Entry for skilled newcomers with work experience in health care fields. This was a direct response to the fact that the health sector faces the most severe labour market shortages of any sector in Canada. The first round of category-based selection will send invitations to 500 qualified health workers to apply for permanent residency. A second round will take place on July 5, with invitations extended to 1,500 health workers. 
    • Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos released the Pan-Canadian Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, developed in collaboration with the provinces and territories. The action plan will guide multi-sectoral and multi-jurisdictional efforts across five pillars: research and innovation, monitoring, stewardship, infection prevention and control, and leadership. 
    • During the World Non-Communicable Diseases Congress MP Sonia Sidhu (Brampton South), who authored the National Framework for Diabetes Act, announced on behalf of the government nearly $1 million in funding over three years to support Diabetes Canada in advancing its work with key partners to develop an inventory of successful diabetes programs, interventions, and projects to support the subsequent dissemination, adoption, and customization of these initiatives across the country. 
    • Minister Duclos announced a ban on the cruel and unnecessary testing of cosmetic products on animals in Canada. In Canada, companies will no longer be allowed to test cosmetic products on animals or sell cosmetics that rely on animal testing data to establish safety. 
    • Minister Duclos announced that applications for the second benefit period of the Canada Dental Benefit will open on July 1, 2023, providing even more eligible families with up-front, direct payments of up to $650 per eligible child under 12. 
  • Around the Dominion
    • The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced over $260,000 to support nursing regulators in expediting the licensure process of internationally educated nurses. Among other activities, the funding will create a Registration Support Assistant position to facilitate the processing of applications and to provide guidance and support for internationally educated nurses, and implement an incentive to assist with costs associated with the National Community Assessment Service Program for eligible candidates. 
    • Ontario became the first province to cover Albrioza under its publicly funded drug program. Albrioza is a new treatment for those living with ALS. An early-phase clinical study of Albrioza demonstrated slowed disease progression, with an additional clinical study currently underway to provide additional insight. Albrioza is also being explored for the treatment of other neurodegenerative diseases. Ontario also announced this week that it will be helping more students who want to become paramedics in the province by adding more than 300 spaces in paramedic programs at provincial colleges this year. 
    • Saskatchewan proclaimed June 27 as the Provincial Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing Day, which coincides with the annual National HIV Testing Day in Canada. Saskatchewan residents can access HIV testing through their physician, nurse practitioner, local public health office, community-based organization, or testing clinic.  
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