Our provincial government will be offering tuition support for uncertified health-care aides so they can enhance their skills. 

The announcement was made by Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen, Health Minister Audrey Gordon, and Seniors and Long-term Care Minister Scott Johnston. Over the next year, eligible uncertified health-care aides can apply for the support, where approximately 120 students will be selected. The goal is for these aides to be able to assist in personal care homes in a greater capacity.

"Manitoba is investing in the education and training of our health-care workforce," explains Cullen. "Providing opportunities for uncertified health-care aides already working in the public health system to upgrade their skills will allow them to provide a higher level of support to the Manitoban seniors they help provide care for."

The course will be part-time and run for 24 weeks with some of it spent with in-person learning, while some will be spent online. The government will be putting up to $3.4 million toward the initiative, which will be added to the $16 million commitment to improving personal health care homes, which was introduced in June.

"We are committed to strengthening the health-care system by providing seniors living in personal care homes the care they need," notes Gordon. "Investing in further training for uncertified health-care aides working in our public health system will improve health outcomes for older Manitobans."

Uncertified aides were first brought in to help personal care homes throughout the pandemic. The only requirement for them was to take a one-week course.

"Uncertified health-care aides have been a welcome addition during the pandemic to support care in long-term care," says Kevin Scott, Chief Operating Officer, Deer Lodge Centre, Middlechurch Home, and River Park Gardens. "The opportunity for these individuals to upgrade their qualifications and become certified means they will be able to carry out all the duties of a health-care aide and provide the best possible care for residents."