According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s 2011 Report on Seniors and Aging, as the baby boomer generation begins to approach 65, the aging of Canada’s population will accelerate, and the health care system will need to quickly adapt to meet the future needs of a growing senior population. In fact, by 2032, seniors (65+ years of age) are expected to account for one quarter of Canada’s population.
The report shows that, while Canada’s seniors are living longer and are healthier than ever, they are frequent users of the health system, costing more than any other segment of the population. Representing just 14% of the population, seniors use 40% of hospital services in Canada and account for about 45% of all provincial and territorial government health spending.
What kind of healthcare jobs will open up?
This aging population will mean greater demands for nurses, personal support workers, occupational therapists, and medical technologists. The Ministry of Health has identified the priority health professions in BC, which include:
- Medical Laboratory Technologist
- Medical Radiation Technologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Physical Therapist
- Physician - General/Specialist
- Registered Nurse
- Registered Nurse - Specialty
- Speech Language Pathologist
Interested in tech? Consider Medical Technology
The ever-increasing use of technology has created a demand for those with a combination of IT skills and a knowledge of the health care industry. Skills and knowledge around newer technologies, such as systems for electronic medical records and electronic exam documentation, will become increasingly important as these technologies become more popular.
What is driving these changes?
Of the projected job openings for all occupation groups for 2022, over half are to replace retiring workers. Another prevalent figure is that health occupations are anticipated to grow at a rate of 2% - a faster pace than the provincial annual average growth rate of 1.2%. The story is similar across Canada.
According to Work BC’s 2012-2022 Outlook Report, labor demand is expected to grow faster than the labour supply in BC. As a result, tight labor conditions, where the demand for workers surpasses the supply of workers, are expected in 2019 - the later part of the outlook period. More specifically, over the ten year outlook period to 2022, demand for workers is expected to outgrow the labour force by 42,250 workers.
Many colleges, universities and vocational institutions in Canada offer both degree and diploma programs in health care professions. You can view a comprehensive list of educational institutions in Canada here.