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Scientific knowledge exchange at global conference sheds new light on migration and diversity

Andrea Baumann, associate vice-president global health, presenting at the Metropolis conference

Andrea Baumann, McMaster University's Associate V-P Global Health, spoke at Metropolis 2019, the largest annual international gathering of experts from academia, governments and civil society in the fields of migration, integration and diversity.

June 28, 2019

This week, representatives from McMaster’s Global Health Office took part in the International Metropolis Conference 2019, hosted by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Andrea Baumann, Associate V-P Global Health spoke about advancing diversity in the health workforce and the challenges facing foreign-trained health professionals when they seek employment in Canada. Baumann and her research team have done extensive work in this area over the last decade, developing a suite of materials to educate employers across the province on the benefits of having a health care workforce that caters to Ontario’s diverse communities.

“The 2030 Agenda has identified Good health and well-being as critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, but we’re facing a crisis with respect to health human resources,” explains Baumann. “There’s a nursing shortage that’s impacting health systems globally, and what we’re trying to do here in Canada is tackle the barriers facing new Canadians so they can practice here and be recognized for the value they bring.”

Baumann and her team’s work, which has received funding from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, has focused on hiring and transitioning internationally educated health professionals into the workplace.

“Healthcare employers need to get better at investing in diversity and inclusivity,” says Baumann. “If they don’t, they’re risking the delivery of lower quality care.”

The Metropolis conference is the largest annual international gathering of world experts from academia, governments and civil society in the fields of migration, integration and diversity. This year’s program reflected Canadian and international strategies focused on immigration, integration, diversity and inclusion.