Province, County Welcomes Ukrainian Refugees and Health Care Professionals

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Province, County Welcomes Ukrainian Refugees and Health Care Professionals

ARICHAT - Celebrated since 1991, Ukrainian Independence Day ceremonies on the local and provincial level had a different dimension this year due to the six-month-old Russian invasion of a nation that was once part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 

The August 24 celebrations began in Richmond County with the raising of the official flag of Ukraine at the county's municipal building in Arichat. While the municipality is not making direct financial contributions to Ukrainian relief efforts, Richmond Warden Amanda Mombourquette said municipal council will do what it can to assist the relocation of refugees to the municipality, and pointed to individual fundraising activities such as the Swim The Canal event held in St. Peter's on August 7. 

Speaking at the same ceremony in Arichat, the Immigration Settlement Officer for the YREACH office based at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, Trina Samson, noted that a dozen Ukrainian families have already re-settled into Richmond County and expressed hope that her office could work with the municipality and others to help overcome language and cultural barriers to give the county's newest arrivals a feeling of welcome and hospitality. 

The following morning in Halifax, Nova Scotia's Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) and the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) confirmed that they are working to fast-track applications by Ukrainian health professionals seeking to move to the province and actively participate in its health care system. To that end, the province has hired ten Ukrainians as community navigators to work with existing health-care recruiters to specialize on attracting doctors, nurses and others from Ukraine to set up shop in Nova Scotia. Three of these navigators are already at work in NSHA health zones, including the Eastern Zone that takes in all of Cape Breton Island, as well as Antigonish and Guysborough Counties. 

Asked by Telile journalist Adam Cooke if such health professionals could be fast-tracked to facilities such as the Strait-Richmond Hospital in Evanston to alleviate doctor and nurse shortages, DHW Minister Michelle Thompson confirmed that her department is working with the 234 Ukraine health professionals that have already applied to work in Nova Scotia, to ensure that problem areas such as the Strait of Canso will have these vacancies filled. Thompson added that "it's an art and a science" to match up incoming doctors and nurses with parts of rural Nova Scotia that are struggling with health-care vacancies. 

In addition to Ukraine health-care workers, NSHA vice-president Dr. Gail Tomblin-Murphy confirmed that her office is working to attract physicians, nurses and others to serve such specific demographics as Nova Scotia's growing Filipino population. 


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Video Upload Date: September 2, 2022

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