Quebec is paying bonuses to full-time nurses of at least $15,000 each, making it the latest province to turn to unusual measures to keep front-line professionals caring for patients during a grueling fourth wave of the pandemic. turns.
Premier François Legault The payments were announced on Thursday after months of pandemic-induced stress that contributed to a shortage of 4,300 nurses in the province.
Last week, British Columbia announced nearly $6.4 million in funding for efforts to recruit and retain health care workers in the northern part of the province. As COVID-19 cases rise, nurses have begun to quit their jobs or experience work-related burnout, forcing the regional Northern Health Authority to appeal for reinforcements.
Canada’s nursing shortage, a long-standing problem exacerbated by COVID-19, has already forced some hospitals to temporarily close beds, reduce emergency-department hours, and redo operating rooms. forced to delay opening. Now, with winter approaching and anti-vaccination sentiment weighing on morale, health officials fear the problem will get worse.
The Northern Health Authority issued a statement earlier this week about the situation in Fort St. John’s, the largest community in Northeast BC, “Our workers are exhausted, overworked, and are subjected to cruel criticism and criticism from the public.” Pali is facing humiliation,” the statement said. “We urge people to be kind, patient and respectful to these staff members and the situation they face.”
Quebec offers bonus of up to $18,000 for nurses in struggling health system
Alberta turns to staffing agencies for nurses as COVID-19 cases rise
Unfortunately, Nurses Can’t Live on Praise Alone
Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurse Unions, said moves by Quebec, B.C. and other provinces have so far offered only superficial solutions to the severe shortage of nurses.
“We’re seeing governments across the country doing patch work … and that’s not going to fix the shortfall, because what the nurses are telling us is the workload that’s keeping them off,” he said. “They’re overworking, they’re worried they didn’t do their job properly, worried they made a mistake. And it’s putting too much pressure on them.”
On Tuesday, Ms Silas’s organization asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to hold a summit of Canadian health care leaders to discuss priorities across the country.
According to Statistics Canada, in the first quarter of 2021, the health care and social-support sector saw a larger year-on-year increase in job vacancies than any other sector. The largest number of job postings were for registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, nurse’s aides, orderly and licensed practical nurses.
The total vacancies in this sector increased to 98,700, which is almost 40 percent more than the same period a year ago. Nearly half of the positions of registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses were vacant for 90 days or more.
This week, Alberta asked other provinces and Ottawa to send intensive care unit nurses and respiratory therapists to help the province’s overcrowded health facilities. Both BC and Saskatchewan have said they do not have the capacity or resources to help.
Ontario has promised assistance, which he will Critical-care patients are likely to be accepted. and Quebec is Said it may be able to help with some urgent cardiac surgeries despite its own staffing woes.
James Wood, a spokesman for Alberta Health Services, said there were 30,744 registered nurses in the health authority as of August — about 1,600 more than the same month in 2019 — and that there was a slight year-over-year increase. Vacancies for Nursing Jobs.
Although Alberta is not offering the bonus, he said, AHS pays one of the highest rates for nurses in Canada.
Meanwhile, Quebec is offering not only cash incentives to existing nurses. Mr Legault’s government is also offering $12,000 payments to former nurses who return to work full-time in the province’s public health care system. In Thursday’s announcement, Mr Legault said those who are already working full-time will receive a preference for better shift schedules than nurses who were hired through private placement agencies. and she said, public Nurses already working in the five areas most affected by the labor shortage will receive an additional $3,000 for a total bonus of $18,000 for each nurse.
BC Health Minister Adrian Dix said earlier this week that the province in northern BC has the highest number of new cases per 100,000 population. In the Northeast, only 61 percent of those eligible for vaccination have received their first dose, compared to the provincial average of 87 percent.
B.C. Liberal legislator Dan Davis, whose riding includes the community of Fort St. John, said he has heard of hospital workers working 14- and 15-hour days, some going 40 consecutive shifts without days off.
“You can imagine what the level of burnout is happening,” said Mr. Davis.
According to the Northern Health Authority, only five of the 20 permanent registered nursing jobs on Fort St. John’s Hospital emergency room rotation are filled. The gap means other nurses are being sent in shifts, putting more emphasis on other rotations.
Angela de Smit, chief operating officer for the Northeast Region of the Northern Health Authority, said the fort has three ICU beds. St. John’s Hospital has been closed since June, 2020 due to shortage of staff.
“We’ve never closed our ICU ever since I’ve been at Fort St. John, and been in the emergency department,” she said.
Elizabeth Savick, professor and director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing, said there are thousands of nursing positions across the province and, she said, the latest estimates predict that B.C. will see a shortage of 24,000 nurses over the next five years. He said that the situation is dire in many rural areas across the country.
“They are, in many ways, the glue that holds the health care system together as a system of care,” she said. “Not having enough nurses threatens patient safety, poor health outcomes, and untimely death.”
With a report from the Canadian Press
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