Return of agency nurses to $100 an hour
Since the beginning of the year, many owners of residential centers for seniors have had to deal with 30% to 40% rate increases from nurse placement agencies. However, according to these agencies, these increases were necessary because of inflation.
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An elderly person uses a walker in the hallway of a private seniors' residence.
At the beginning of January, the management team at Groupe Santé Arbec was startled when 'she received new fee schedules from nurse placement agencies.
We had several agencies that made attempts to raise hourly rates quite exaggeratedly, explains the Chairman and CEO of the Group, Paul Arbec.
One agency, for example, went from $72 to $95 an hour for nursing staff, he says, an increase of more than 30%.
Le Groupe Santé Arbec manages more than fifteen residential settings, including private CHSLDs not under contract with the government.
Mr. Arbec, who is also spokesperson for the Association of Long-Term Private Institutions of Quebec (AELDPQ), notes that several members of the Association receive increases of 35%, 40%.
So far, the highest we've seen for simple time is $107 […] for a nurse who, in normal times, would cost us $50 time, says the president of the AELDPQ.
Paul Arbec, President and CEO of Groupe Santé Arbec
At the start of the pandemic, agencies billed up to $150 per hour.
A 2021 Ministerial Order, which expired on December 31, capped the hourly rate at nearly of $72, both public and private.
The CEO of Groupe Santé Arbec, like the President and CEO of the Regroupement québécois des residences pour ains (RQRA), hopes rapid intervention from Quebec.
You could say it's free for all, it's really nonsense at the agency level, says Marc Fortin, of the RQRA. The government will really have to [deal with] this issue, he says.
According to the latest report on the nursing workforce 2021- 2022 of the Order of Nurses of Quebec (OIIQ), more than 3.2% of nursing staff, or 2,400 people, practiced this profession mainly with employment agencies or private care last March.< /p>
However, for the representative of the private employment agencies, tariff adjustments were necessary.
In general, prices have been capped by the government for the past two years using data from 2018, when the entire planet was going through the worst inflationary crisis in decades, explains Patrice Lapointe, of the Association of Private Enterprises of nursing staff in Quebec (EPPSQ). It is therefore possible that certain tariff adjustments may have been necessary in certain cases.
Contracts awarded without a call for tenders by the public network during the pandemic also had an impact on the salaries paid to agency nurses, according to the EPPSQ. Mr. Lapointe is hoping for a meeting with the government.
The shortage of nurses in the health network and private accommodation for seniors has increased since the pandemic.< /p>
Radio-Canada revealed last week that public institutions had mandated Recrutement Santé Québec (RSQ) to recruit more than 3,300 nurses abroad. RSQ is the official recruitment service of the Ministry of Health outside Canada.
At the RQRA, we suggest a transformation of RSQ.
We asked the government to abolish RSQ to create a non-profit organization that would take care of the needs [recruitment in the sector] of health, whether public, private or community, launches Marc Fortin, du RQRA.
Marc Fortin, President and CEO, Quebec Regrouping of Residences for Seniors
For the moment, there is no opening, but it is something that we should look at because we are all interrelated in an ecosystem, argues Mr. Fortin.< /p>
In the meantime, the association he represents has been using intermediaries since last year to recruit staff from abroad.
We work with private companies […] that recruit for companies like St-Hubert and Olymel, where we try to have an economy of scale, specifies Mr. Fortin.
The offices of the Ministry of Immigration in French-speaking countries are also used.