The Quebec government wants a “revolution” and to offer nurses what they deserve, which is a better working and living environment, Prime Minister François Legault said on Saturday.
Legault posted a post on Facebook commenting on a one-time bonus scheme aimed at attracting thousands of nurses back to the public sector from private employment and retirement agencies. The plan is also intended to convince part-time nurses to switch to a full-time job.
“Money will not solve all problems, but we believe it will help us curb staff shortages in the short term,” Legault said. “We have a duty to be successful in everything you do for us. We owe it to you. “
Quebec said on Sept. 23 that the government is budgeting $ 1 billion to offer full-time nurses bonuses of up to $ 18,000 while trying to prevent more of them from leaving the public health system and attracting those who have left for let them come back.
However, the plan faced a backlash from Quebec’s largest nurses union, which calls for the elimination of mandatory overtime. The government has proposed reducing it.
Legault said financial incentives were only part of the plan, but they were crucial to prevent more nurses from leaving the industry.
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“I know what is essential for you, it is not having more money, it is quality of life and work,” Legault said on Facebook, adding that the goal is also to eliminate mandatory overtime.
Quebec is struggling with a shortage of more than 4,000 nurses that could worsen as healthcare workers face an unpaid suspension if they are not fully vaccinated by October 15.
Health Minister Christian Dubé said at a press conference with Legault on September 23 that the incentives will only be available to nurses who are fully vaccinated.
He said that around 7,700 healthcare workers in the province who are in regular contact with patients have yet to receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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