Health care assistant students practise skills in the lab at St. Joe’s in Comox. Photo submitted

Health care assistant students practise skills in the lab at St. Joe’s in Comox. Photo submitted

Sixteen seats added to NIC health care assistant program

More training opportunities for health care assistants at North Island College will strengthen the level of care for people in long-term care and assisted living residences, say Ronna-Rae Leonard, New Democrat MLA for Courtenay-Comox, and Michele Babchuk, New Democrat MLA for North Island.

“One of the most important ways we are working to recover from the hit of the COVID-19 pandemic is by investing in improving health care for British Columbians,” said Leonard. “These new health care assistant spaces will have the double benefit of allowing more people to train for these important jobs, and producing more well-trained health care workers in our area.”

“These new health care assistant seats at North Island College will give more people in our region the opportunity to pursue in-demand health care careers close to home,” said Babchuk. “People trained through these spaces will be able to contribute to the health, well-being, and vitality of our North Island communities over the long-term.”

The New Democrat government is creating 16 new seats in the health care assistant program at North Island College, between the Comox Valley and Campbell River campuses. These are some of the 600 new seats being created at public post-secondary institutions across the province, as part of the Health Career Access Program, with a total investment of $8.4 million.

Participants in the program will work in long-term care or assisted living residences as health care support workers, while completing courses to become health care assistants. The latter provide personal care for seniors, people with disabilities, and people with acute or chronic illnesses in hospitals, long-term care homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, and in the community.

This investment is part of B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan. B.C.’s total provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic exceeds $8.25 billion.

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