The latest in Premier Doug Ford’s blitz of health care announcements in the past week is one that is aimed at attracting young nurses, lab techs and paramedics. The program, the Learn and Stay grant, will provide upfront funding for tuition, books and other direct educational costs in return for working and caring for people in the region where they studied for a term of service after they graduate. The incentive program is aimed at communities experiencing the most acute shortages. These include:
- Nursing programs in northern, eastern and southwestern Ontario
- Medical laboratory technologist/medical laboratory sciences programs in northern and southwestern Ontario
- Paramedic programs in northern Ontario
“Said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “By providing targeted financial incentives to encourage students to learn and work in priority communities, the expanded Learn and Stay grant will ensure that our health care professionals get the training they need to make immediate impacts in local hospitals, long-term care homes and other health care facilities after they graduate.”
Applications for the Learn and Stay grant will open in Spring 2023. The government has committed $61 million over the next three years for the Learn and Stay grant. To be eligible for the grant, students must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person and live in Ontario, enrol in an eligible diploma, advanced diploma, undergraduate, masters or post-graduate program in a priority region and commit to work in the region where they studied for a minimum of six months for every year of study funded by the grant.