Faced with a major shortage of health workers in Nunavik, Quebec will announce on Friday an investment of nearly $177 million to build 150 new housing units in various communities. Press. These residences are reserved for workers in the health network.
For months, health facilities in Nunavik have been struggling with key staff shortages. In the summer of 2022, a crisis arose, and local health officials requested military reinforcements. Health Minister Christian Dubey went there1.
By the end of January 2023, nurses on the Hudson Bay coast will have a sit down to denounce their working conditions and chronic staff shortages2.
Lack of houses hampered recruitment
At a board of directors meeting in Montreal in December 2022, Nunavik health officials revealed that the lack of housing has seriously compromised staff recruitment in the north. For example, communities were forced to cancel job postings in public health, unable to accommodate future candidates.
Despite the increase in reports, the Nunavik Youth Protection Department is also struggling to recruit enough staff, particularly due to a lack of accommodation.
In the North, the occupancy rate for health personnel housing was 159% in December. Due to this many employees had to share their residences.
According to presentations made in December by the Inuulitsivik Health and Social Services Center (CSSS) (Hudson Bay) and CSSS Tulattavik (Ungava Bay), Nunavik is 350 houses short of housing all the health workers. But last year only 42 new houses were built in 14 villages3.
In addition to health workers, Nunavik’s indigenous population is also facing a housing shortage. But these structures are not covered by the health network.
Construction of 150 new housing units for health care workers in Nunavik should begin in the summer, and the first apartments will be delivered in the spring of 2024. They are mainly built in Puvirnituk and Kujuak. They consist of one or two bedroom units, living room, kitchen, dining room and bathroom.
In the past, there has been a delay in the construction of health workers’ residences in Nunavik. But the Health Minister’s office indicates that the “levers” have been put in place “to bring the project to fruition on schedule”.
In particular, an independent audit process will be put in place to monitor the project. The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services is also required to appoint a responsible project manager “in accordance with ministerial powers”.
Finally, a “technical and financial monitoring system” will be put in place to enable the Ministry of Health and Social Services to follow the progress of the project at all times.
- Number of dwellings to be built towards Ungava Bay (mainly in Kujuak). On the Hudson Bay side, there are 52 (mostly in Puvirnituk) and 30 will be built in smaller communities.
Source: Ministry of Health and Social Services