After a week marked by the announcement of substantial bonuses to try to convince thousands of nurses to return to the public health network, the Premier of Quebec, Francois Legault, sent “a cry from the heart” to caregivers on Saturday by addressing them directly on social networks.
“I send you a cry from the heart, to all the nurses who are part-time or who have left the public network: we need you”, wrote Mr. Legault. on his Facebook page, Saturday morning, in a statement in which he acknowledges that the working conditions of nurses have been severely tested in recent years, in particular because of the massive use of compulsory overtime.
The government also hopes to put an end to this practice, as well as to the use of private agencies by the health network. “In short, we want to give you back a life and offer you the working conditions you deserve,” said the Prime Minister.
In the meantime, it is on “cash bonuses” that Quebec has decided to bet in order to “rectify the situation quickly”, at a time when approximately 4,300 nurses are missing in the health network. About 40% of nurses also work part-time, which is of concern to Quebec.
“Many nurses have left the public network or have gone part-time in recent months to find a better quality of life. I don’t blame you! At one point, when you no longer have any quality of life, I can understand. But if we want to continue to adequately treat all Quebecers who need it, and if we also want to improve your working conditions, we absolutely must stop this wave of departures, ”wrote Mr. Legault, who wishes to“ break ”what ‘he describes as a “vicious circle” in the health network.
In an action plan announced Thursday, the Legault government announced the establishment of premiums of $ 12,000 to $ 18,000 to nurses. in order to attract them and keep them in the public network, ideally in full-time positions. Quebec relies in particular on retired caregivers to meet demand.
“We will arrange so that retirees who want to return are not penalized, that your retirement is not cut”, also assured Mr. Legault on Saturday. The premiums offered will also be higher in certain regions of Quebec where the shortage of caregivers is particularly glaring, such as the Outaouais, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec.
Thousands of administrative agents will also be trained in the coming months to carry out certain nurses’ tasks. “Instead of spending hours filling out paperwork, you will be able to focus on what you do best as a professional: treating patients”, summarized Mr. Legault on Saturday, while recalling that these investments total nearly ‘a billion dollars.
“I’ve tried to put myself in your shoes many times since the start of the pandemic, and frankly, it’s not easy. What I feel when I think about everything you have been through is a lot of gratitude and humility, and also a lot of pride ”, added the Prime Minister, before wishing“ a nice weekend ”to the nurses. of the province.