The Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, promises to formulate soon daring, unprecedented proposals to try to attract thousands of nurses into the public health network and thus hope to avoid the prospect of a breakdown in services.
On Friday, in a press scrum, on the sidelines of an announcement in Lévis, Minister Dubé reaffirmed his intention to do everything possible to offer nurses a more attractive work environment, different from what they have known until present, and thus convince them to return to the fold in the public network.
For years, nurses have particularly complained about the widespread practice of mandatory overtime (OST), which requires them on a regular basis to work exhausting double shifts.
The extent of the current crisis, while there are more than 4,000 nurses to operate the network normally, now encourages the Legault government to be more attentive to their grievances.
Minister Dubé therefore promises to announce next week new type of incentives, whether financial or professional, likely, according to him, to bring back those who have favored early retirement in recent years or have chosen the practice in the private sector, in order to escape the working conditions made too difficult in hospitals.
He intends to be daring in the means chosen.
” You’ll see. We are going to make announcements that might have surprised a few months or years ago, but which will be pushed (sic) by the fact that we have looked at new ways of dealing with the pandemic, ”commented the Minister. , convinced that his appeal will be heard.
But the great unknown of the equation remains the reaction to come from the main stakeholders: what proportion of retired nurses or those in the private sector will be ready to return to service?
While awaiting the response, the Minister will aim, in parallel with the incentives announced in the very short term, to implement a more comprehensive reorganization of services in the longer term, with “much more structuring proposals on the table”.
The day before, the Minister had undertaken to avoid any disruption of services in the health network, despite the significant staff shortage, a problem that is likely to worsen as of October 15, the date from which all healthcare workers will need to be doubly vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus to remain on duty.
Therefore, the recalcitrant will be placed on forced leave without pay, suspended for an indefinite time. Such a scenario portends an even more difficult situation to manage, as an estimated 20,000 network employees are unvaccinated, at least half of whom provide direct patient care.