When (Quebec) Health Network fires workers, placement agencies are violating ministerial orders by charging caregivers 30% more on accommodation for private seniors. Others have learned how to break the rules, adding all sorts of bonuses and fees Press. Residents were accused of being “captives”.
Posted at 5:00 p.m.
The residences of private seniors (RPAs) and private CHSLDs have tightened their grip on themselves in the face of the Omikran tsunami, which has put dozens of their employees aside and caused a number of outbreaks. And according to about twenty invoices compiled, agencies put too much weight on the pencil to help them. Press.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services also confirmed that “recent information has been provided that certain agencies charge higher prices than those provided in the Cabinet directives”. These methods are “subject to audits”, we said via email without further comment.
According to our information, companies sometimes charge up to $ 100 per hour for “regular rate” nurse services. According to a service offer made at the beginning of the month, an agency in Greater Montreal is asking for a maximum of $ 800 per nurse shift, which is seven to eight hours.
This is at least $ 25 more than the ministry order of $ 74.36 per hour for the use of clinical nurses.
Quebec, however, tightened its grip on employment agencies when the prices of independent labor exploded in some circles at the outset of the epidemic. At the end of the first wave, in May 2020, the Legal government set ceiling prices to prevent abuses amid the health crisis.
These tariffs were renewed in March 2021 in the new order.
However, invoices and service offers from at least 15 agencies across Quebec prove that these practices have never really stopped with private residences.
In September, a company in Laurentians charged a nursing assistant $ 65 an hour.
This is 35% higher than the maximum rate established by Quebec, which is $ 47.65. Other agencies charge between $ 50 and $ 57 per hour for a nursing assistant. The same is true for beneficiary attendant services, which cost up to $ 45 per hour, with a maximum of $ 35.45 per hour.
Our research shows that agencies use different ways to increase their prices by adding “management fees” and “COVID bonuses”. For example, we suggest that a premium of $ 6 per hour be added to their employees’ wages during outreach.
The independent workforce was not targeted by the many bonuses paid by the Legal government in the wake of the health crisis. However, in some cases, agencies charge the same premiums as public assistants, such as 8% for nursing assistants.
We are also increasing the allowance allocated for mileage, for example. Press Companies are not misrepresented to protect accommodation resources for seniors who fear retaliation.
These practices did not come as a surprise to Quebec President Mark Fortin, who is regrouping seniors’ residences, confirming that there is currently an increase in the workforce.
“We thought it was coming with the last wave, we saw it here and there in one area, but it spread like a virus, he said in an interview. The government should take steps to control these practices.”
The same is true of private CHSLDs. “This is GroundHog Day; Nothing has changed, ”said Paul Arbeck, president of the Private Long-Term Institutions Association in Quebec.
[Les agences] Go for the highest bidder: one and a half hours, double time … for the first time in my career, I even listened to triple time. We were told: “If you pay me double, I will rescind the decree to send you the resource elsewhere where it should be respected.”
Paul Arbeck, President of the Association of Private Long-Term Institutions of Quebec
Both communities condemned the uncomfortable posture of their members to face the situation. They are found between the tree and the bark. Their only option is to pay a fee to ensure that services are not disrupted, which has an impact on the care provided to seniors.
The increase in costs is not reflected in the cost of rent, but inevitably in the resident care bill, Mr. Fortin dictates. Rental leases usually have a schedule for the health care expenses that the tenant will need. The resident may have access to various financial benefits such as tax credits to pay for these expenses.
“Agencies want to change [les mesures de l’arrêté], They will negotiate with the government without taking us hostage, ”Mr. Fortin denied, adding that the organization has 800 members and some 100,000 rental units. According to him, small and large RPAs face this kind of situation.
According to the Association of Private Companies of Quebec’s Guardians, the practices are described Press “Completely illegal”.
Its president, Helen Gravel, lamented, “There is nothing surprising in that. There are always people who are willing to pay for anything. Do people take advantage of it? Yes,” she continues.
MMe Gravel, bringing together almost fifteen agencies, on the other hand, confirmed that private residences have also approached placement firms, providing that we “charge the most” to ensure that they have the manpower in extreme situations. Scarcity.
The association has closely monitored the use of placement agencies since the beginning of the epidemic, “the horse of his passion,” the president recalled. In the spring of 2020 companies will sprout like mushrooms. In addition, almost half of the agencies in this report are registered with the Registrar des Enterprises after March 2020. The rest are relatively recent with established dates from 2013 to 2019.
What the cabinet decree says
It is prohibited for a personal placement agency to be contracted, modified or renewed from March 13, 2020 to provide a service in the health and social services sector (including private residences for the elderly). Exceeds the following hourly rate ”:
- $ 74.36 for a clinical nurse
- $ 71.87 per nurse
- $ 47.65 for an assistant nurse
- $ 35.45 for a beneficiary attendee
- $ 22.85 for a service assistant