Backlog blocks care aides

In the midst of an existing labour shortage, the B.C. Care Providers Association is calling on the provincial government to reduce a growing backlog of required criminal record checks for healthcare workers. 

Healthcare workers are being forced to wait up to six weeks to begin employment and are going elsewhere, the organization says.

The provincial government screens people seeking to work with vulnerable adults by checking for criminal convictions and outstanding charges and warrants. Currently, provincial staff are processing submissions received on June 28.

Senior care workers must wait for their criminal record check to clear before starting employment. 

“Delays in obtaining criminal record checks are making it difficult for seniors to receive the care they need as care providers are struggling to meet staffing requirements,” says Hendrik Van Ryk, COO/VP of human resources, H&H Total Care Services.

“We are losing qualified job candidates to other industries due to the backlog, which is yet another obstacle for a sector grappling with a severe health human resources crisis,” he says.

B.C. is the only province with a separate agency to manage criminal record checks, with the rest of Canada seeing them obtained through local police detachments in three days or less. 

“We hope that regulations can be amended to allow employers to meet their requirements through CRRP or their local police department,” says Van Ryk.

At the minimum, the B.C. Care Providers Association is asking the province to expedite criminal record checks for those in the healthcare sector.

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