A record number of 2,400 full-time private agency nurses in Quebec

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A record number of 2,400 full-time private agency nurses in Quebec

The President of the Order of nurses of Quebec, Luc Mathieu, believes it is time to “break” this trend.

This number of nurses from private agencies had not been reached for 10 years.

At the Annual General Meeting of the Order of Nurses of Quebec (OIIQ) held on Monday, the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, did not miss the opportunity to recall his expression consecrated for a few months: improving working conditions to “become an employer of choice”.< /p>

According to the latest report on the 2021-2022 nursing workforce from the OIIQ consulted by Radio-Canada, more than 3.2% of the nursing staff, or 2,400 people, practiced the profession mainly with employment agencies. or private care, last March.

Such a level had not been reached for 10 years.

According to the president of the OIIQ, Luc Mathieu, we must find recipes for work-family balance […] because if nurses become too captive in the health network, they will continue to do what they started doing a few years ago: they're going to go private, because in private they can choose their schedule and be available.

“The effect of that is that it costs more for the network with the contracts they have with the healthcare institutions, so we have to break that , it is necessary to work on the factors that will promote retention. »

— Luc Mathieu, President of the Order of Nurses of Quebec

During the study of budgetary appropriations, last April, Minister Dubé said he was in favor of a substantial reduction in the coming months, the next few years, in the use of agencies.

The rate of independent labor remains at around 5% for nurses, according to ministry data.

According to the latest nursing workforce report, there were 1,134 more nurses at the end of March than the previous year, for a total of 75,600 employed.

Luc Mathieu, president of the Order of Nurses of Quebec, points out that the effect of private agencies is notably an increase in costs.

The profession is still attractive […] despite the conditions of practice made even more difficult with the pandemic, which have resulted in particular in creating situations of shortage in the health and social services network, affirms Luc Mathieu .

For the first time, more than half (51%) of nurses entering the profession worked full time, an increase of 13 percentage points. An unprecedented number of nurses are working full time, 68.4% of the workforce.

According to the Order, these increases are partly attributable to decrees and incentive measures from the government to deal with the health emergency.

On the eve of negotiating new collective agreements, Minister Dubé said he was open, before the general assembly of the College, to requests for part-time work.

The College also issued 3,565 new licenses to practice in 2021-2022, for a total of nearly 19,000 in five years.

During the study of health appropriations last April, Assistant Deputy Minister Josée Doyon came to explain to MNAs that graduation, immigration and the other measures announced will certainly not succeed in meeting the needs.

According to its assessment, 28,000 hirings will be necessary over the next five are years.

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