Breathless nurses in the public network should soon have a break, promises Minister Christian Dubé, who is banking on the combined effect of new employment contracts, returns from vacation and new incentives to attract reinforcements into the network.
“We are in the last ‘strech’ [tronçon en anglais] difficult time, ”said the Minister of Health Thursday after being questioned about a wave of departures of nurses at the Roberval Hospital in Lac-Saint-Jean.
“We have many who are on vacation who will come back rested,” he said of the professionals whose vacation ends in mid-September.
Another encouraging factor: the Legault government is preparing an offensive to bring retired nurses and agency staff back to the public network. “We are in the process of finalizing something that will be very concrete and strong to attract people. “
At present, there is a shortage of 4000 professionals in the public network to meet the needs.
Lebel less optimistic
Finally, Minister Dubé is counting above all on the new employment contracts to reduce the pressure on the staff. “We have not yet seen all the advantages of the collective agreement which has just been signed,” he said, stressing that these contracts would reduce the use of compulsory overtime.
This assertion, however, contradicts what his colleague Sonia Lebel had argued on 25 August. Asked about the nursing sit-ins in Quebec City and Lévis, the president of the Treasury Board had suggested that the benefits of the convention would not be felt in the short term.
“Unfortunately, this agreement has just been voted. It will take some time to be applied and there is unfortunately the layer of health emergency that is added to that, which puts additional pressure. “
Ms. Lebel then invited the nurses to “keep hope” and remain “patient” until the new rules are implemented. “What we have put in place, […] I am convinced that it will make a difference, but as my grandmother used to say, you have to “give time to time”. […] Unfortunately, it will not be immediately because we have to put the measures in place. “