May 24, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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The use of private agencies is exploding

The use of private agencies is exploding

The pandemic could lead to a real explosion in the use of private agencies in the health network. Health facilities for freelance workers cost $ 443 million in 2019-2020, reaching $ 1 billion in 2020-2021, according to data from the Ministry of Health, compiled from annual reports from health facilities.

Ariane Lacorsier

Ariane Lacorsier

These reports, to be prepared by the 103 government and private health agencies contracted in Quebec, describe the total number of hours worked by independent workers for nurses, patient attendants or housekeeping employees, security guards and many other job titles.

In the office of Health and Social Services Minister Christian Dubey, we noted that the epidemic was not associated with a significant increase in the use of private agencies. At the height of the first wave, more than 12,000 health care workers were absent from the network. “Our first priority is to provide care for sick cubes,” Minister Marjorie Cate-Boyle said.

She adds that the epidemic has increased the need for job titles that do not provide care such as security and housekeeping. “These two professions alone accounted for a 51.6% increase in spending on independent labor between 2019 and 2020,” M said.To me Côté-Boileau.

Photo by Martin Chamberland, Press Archives

A man spoke to a security officer at a vaccination clinic at the Olympic Stadium in April.

According to figures from the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS), health organizations spent 344 million on these services in 2020-2021. 262% increase over last year.

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Grows in all sectors

In recent weeks, Quebec Solidarity researcher Yves LaVesque has been hired to analyze the annual financial statements of health care organizations and to capture the volume of consumption of independent workers in recent years. There will be no job title due to the increase in freelance workforce.

Some areas used the freelance workforce more in 2020-2021 than others. This is especially the case in Laurentians, where costs have dropped from $ 28 million to $ 96 million. CISSS des Laurentides spokeswoman Melanie Loro said the 26% increase was due to security costs. “Security guards from private agencies, among other things, need to make sure that most of our facilities are hygienic,” she said.

M.To me Loro adds that CISSS should also send reinforcements to employees “out of dozens of private resources in the region” during the epidemic. “In many cases, mobilizing these employees with our private partners forced CISSS to partially compensate for their absence with independent workers,” she said.

The “vicious circle” according to Quebec Solidair

A spokeswoman for Quebec Solidair for Health, Vincent Marissall, said that turning to private agencies was a “never-ending vicious circle” and that it was a good time to “break away from agencies”. His party believes it can be completed in three years. Especially by completely eliminating the use of agencies in various care sectors. Mr Morisel believes there is a solution in better working conditions and better wages for health workers.

Nancy Bedard, president of the Interprofessional Health Federation of Quebec (FIQ), said the abuse of compulsory overtime, overload of nurses and government orders passed during the epidemic pushed a large number of nurses to private. “We’ve seen dozens of people leave the network every day to go private,” she says.

In April, the government passed a ministerial order banning a nurse from leaving the network for 90 days to return to work through the agency. This decree has a definite effect, ्र.To me However, Bedard believes that much remains to be done.

Last Monday, Prime Minister Franకోois Legalt said the shortage of nurses on the network “prevented him from sleeping”. “There, things are moving. It’s never too late to do it right. But it’s awful to wait until you get there before you do anything,” Mr commented.To me Bedard.

“Since 2006, the network has been under attack with restructuring. […] There is a solution in better working conditions. But it also needs to recreate the experience, ”said Jeff Begley, president of the Federation of Health and Social Services (FSSS-CSN).

At a press conference last week, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubey, indicated that the situation for nurses was about to change, with their new collective agreement coming into force soon. “We have not yet seen all the benefits of the collective agreement that has just been signed. We have not seen everything [qu’il y aura] Positive effects on reducing mandatory overtime, “Mr. Dubey urged nurses to wait until everything signed into the agreement is in order” [collective] .