Québec to offer $12,000 scholarships to aspiring patient attendants

Québec to offer $12,000 scholarships to aspiring patient attendants

Québec aims to train 3,000 to 5,000 new patient attendants by December 2023.

The Quebec government is launching a new campaign to encourage Quebec residents to become patient attendants. This is a welcome announcement especially for Park-Extension’s aging population since this program is enhancing the scholarship for short-term training programs, increasing it from $9,210 to $12,000. Québec aims to train 3,000 to 5,000 new patient attendants by December 2023.

This was announced by the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, and the Minister responsible for Seniors, Sonia Bélanger, at a press conference held in Montreal on Tuesday the 15th of May.

The government wishes to “strengthen” the teams of patient attendants working in CHSLDs (long-term care centers) and senior homes. It plans to significantly increase the number of cohorts enrolled in short-term training programs “over the next few months.”

“Young people, get involved! It’s important, we need you,” said Minister Sonia Bélanger during the press conference, addressing two groups: the youth and retirees. According to her, the profession of patient attendant is “interesting” for young people, both in terms of the “work environment” and the “human aspect.” She added that it can be a stepping stone to eventually become a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse.

Retirees may also be tempted by this opportunity, she said. “We have retirees who have the desire to make a difference and not necessarily pursue their previous careers,” she added.

Québec launched a short-term training program in 2020 to recruit patient attendants during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 10,000 attendants who completed the short program have been hired, according to Minister Christian Dubé. Among them, 8,000 are still employed. “This means that we are exactly at the normal attrition rate after three years,” he clarified during the press conference.

The Training Program

Around fifty school service centers will offer the courses. The first cohorts will start in August, with others beginning in September. The 375-hour training program will span over 12 weeks.

To benefit from the scholarship, students will have to commit to working in the healthcare and social services network for a period of six months. Québec assures them of employment “upon obtaining their certification.” An $8,000 scholarship will be paid in two installments of $4,000 during the training program. A $4,000 bonus will be granted upon obtaining the diploma.