Reinforcement foreign workers

Reinforcement foreign workers


In the midst of a staff shortage, the Quebec health network has recruited no fewer than 1,150 nurses from a dozen countries abroad since 2019. < /p>

Data from the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) show that the various international recruitment strategies have borne fruit, with 394 nurses added in the last year alone, from September 2021 to August 2022 (see more bas). 

Among the most active social service centres, the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale has hired just over 300 employees from abroad in the last three years, including 120 nurses. At the CHU de Québec, 91 nurses from France, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, England and Tunisia have completed their internship since 2019 and joined various establishments.

For the current year, around fifty more nurses are on duty. 

A resounding success

The measures to he reception and integration have made it possible to retain employment for nearly 90% of workers hired abroad. Many of them speak very good French and want to make their living here (see other text).

“An immigration project is often a family project, a life project. So we really want to make sure that the people who will arrive here in Quebec, that it is a success,” says Véronique Potvin, director of human resources at the CHU de Québec.

She maintains that the first mission in Brazil in 2019 was a great success and that the organization is currently reaping the fruits of a long process. From the initial meeting to the first day of work, it can take up to two years.

Concrete solution to the shortage

Recruitment outside the country has become a concrete solution to address the labor shortage affecting the network. According to the MSSS indicator, the needs are assessed at 4,445 full-time nurses.

“This is not the only solution, but it remains a more than interesting solution for the coming years. There is an additional pool that you can explore. It is certain that we continue to be active, ”says Éric Lavoie, head of the human resources department at the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale.

The stakeholders interviewed by Le Journal all intend to press the accelerator in the coming years to recruit more elsewhere in the world.

In metropolitan France, for example, the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal has hired 130 nurses since April 2021 and plans to welcome 130 new ones in the coming year. But it's not just the big centers that want to attract new recruits.

Under a program announced last February by the Quebec government, 500 immigrant women are currently completing a short prior learning recognition program in seven regions of Quebec. They have been attending CEGEPs and working in health establishments part-time since September. 

Ultimately, this measure, funded to the tune of $65 million, aims to integrate 1,000 nurses into the regional hospitals.  


Reference period from September to August

  • 2019-2020: 399
  • 2020-2021: 357
  • 2021-2022: 394

Source: Department of Health and Human Services


  • CHU de Québec-Laval University:91 since 2019
  • CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale: 120 since 2019
  • CIUSSS du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal: 130 since 2021
  • CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal: 83 of France since 2019
  • < strong>CIUSSS de Sherbrooke: 37 in France since 2020
  • CIUSSS de la Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec: 41 from France since 2019

Source: CIUSSS contacted by Le Journal 

Love at first sight for Quebec

Colombian Kevin Gutierrez Salgado, 32, works for about a year at Saint-Sacrement Hospital in Quebec.

Kevin Gutierrez Salgado fell in love with him when he was met by managers from the CHU de Québec who were on a mission in Colombia in 2019.

“I fell in love with Quebec”, says the 32-year-old father who arrived here in October 2021. 

Besides, he does not hide his intentions: he and his wife want to spend their lives in Quebec.&nbsp ; 

Their son is in a 4-year-old kindergarten class and speaks even better French than his parents.

“He learns so fast, he's a sponge,” says the father, who likes the city to be safe to raise children.

The Colombian works hard in the medical unit upstairs of palliative care at the Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement, and his colleagues were quick to praise his work during the passage of the Journal. 


Managers agree, emphasizing the extent to which employees from other countries have become indispensable resources in their workplace.

“We can no longer ignore international recruitment […] With supervision, people quickly reach their full potential,” says Véronique Potvin, director of human resources at the CHU de Québec.

C This is indeed the case of Amanda Da Silva Krantz, who arrived from Brazil in March 2021, and who quickly adopted Quebec. 

The 30-year-old, who works as a nurse in the cardiology unit at Laval University Hospital Center, did not know a word of French when she arrived a year and a half ago. 

It's hard to believe when you hear someone whose mother tongue is Portuguese let go of a well-meaning “pantoute” in response to a question.

“People say that I more the Québécois accent than the French accent,” she laughs, adding that the patients teach her the Québécois expressions.

Arrived alone in the Old Capital, Amanda was joined by her spouse, a computer programmer, and the two now want to start a family and make a living here.

“As soon as we can, we will apply for our permanent residence”, mentions the one who is involved in the committee of integration of immigrants from the CHU.

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