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Jobless doctor from Nepal says his ‘dreams have been shattered’ on P.E.I. | CBC News

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Every day, Akash Kumar Mishra applies for jobs and checks to see if he’s heard back from anyone he approached the day before. 

He estimates he has put out hundreds of applications, with no response about anything but low-paying jobs he says are too far below what he’s qualified to do.

It’s not what he expected when he moved to P.E.I. in December.

“Despite my every effort, I’m not finding a job here, and that is the most difficult part, and that is the frustrating thing after moving to Canada,” he told CBC News in an interview.

Mishra used to work as a doctor in Nepal and Dubai, helping critically ill patients. 

He understands and accepts that he can’t practise medicine in Canada without the proper certifications this country requires, but he thought his years of education and experience would help him land a decent job. He said he has saved lives working in critical care, and has experience in addiction care, long-term care and hospital administration.

Everyone says we need doctors in this island, we need nurses, we need health-care workers, but everything is so slow.— Akash Kumar Mishra

“I had very big dreams. I thought I would do something good here, after moving to Canada, but here nothing is coming. My dreams have been shattered completely.”

Both he and his wife, Shreya Karki, got permanent residency in Canada partly on the basis of their health-care backgrounds, he said.  

Akash Kumar Mishra says his dreams have been shattered since moving to Canada. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Karki is working as a resident care worker, but the income is not enough to support them and their 11-month-old son.

“It’s been very hard for us,” she said. “He’s a man who’s always used to work, back in our home country and in Dubai. I’ve always seen him working and him telling me, ‘This patient happened, this happened.’ It feels very bad. I want him to get a proper job.”

Came for better life

They came to Canada to give their son a better life. Now they are questioning their decision.

“Everyone says we need doctors in this island, we need nurses, we need health-care workers, but everything is so slow,” Karki said. 

Man, woman and child on street. Woman is holding child in her arms.
Akash Kumar Mishra with his wife Shreya Karki and their young son. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Mishra was told he was short-listed for an associate physician job with Health P.E.I., but that was three months ago.

Six months ago, Health P.E.I. said it planned to hire five associate physicians — international doctors who would be paired with fully licensed doctors. The province has lost some employees in health recruitment, which may be slowing the hiring process.

In an email statement to CBC News, Health P.E.I. said that due to privacy concerns, it could not comment on the specific experiences of any potential candidate. 

Prince Edward Island has worked with the various licensing bodies to add new pathways in the last year for internationally trained health care professionals to gain employment here.— Statement from Health P.E.I.

“Prince Edward Island has worked with the various licensing bodies to add new pathways in the last year for internationally trained health care professionals to gain employment here, including the Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) program, as well as the addition of associate physicians. Health P.E.I. has already welcomed its first cohort of IENs and will be integrating the first associate physicians into the system within months.”

Mishra said it’s not just about supporting his family — he doesn’t want to lose his expertise. 

“Let me work, let me show my capabilities, let me prove myself,” he pleaded.

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