The use of private companies is exploding

The use of private companies is exploding

The epidemic led to a real explosion in the use of private companies in the health network. Although health care facilities spent $ 443 million on freelance workers in 2019-2020, that amount reached $ 1 billion in 2020-2021, according to data from the Ministry of Health compiled from annual reports from health care facilities.

Ariane Lagorsier

Ariane Lagorsier

These reports, to be prepared by the 103 public and private health organizations under the agreement in Quebec, describe the total working hours of nurses, patient assistants, or home care workers, security guards, and many other independent positions.

In the office of Health and Social Services Minister Christian Dubey, we note that the epidemic is unrelated to a significant increase in the use of private companies. At the height of the first wave, more than 12,000 health workers were not in the network. “Treating sick Cubs is our number one priority,” said Marjari Cேte d’Ivoire, the minister’s press secretary.

He adds that there is an increasing demand for non-care job titles such as epidemiological care and home care. “These two industries alone accounted for a 51.6% increase in spending on independent labor between 2019 and 2020,” he said.Me Code-Boylo.

Photo by Martin Chamberland, Press Archives

A man speaks to a security officer at a vaccination clinic at the Olympic Stadium in April.

Data from the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) shows that health organizations spent 344 million on these services in 2020-2021. 262% increase over the previous year.

Will increase in all sectors

In recent weeks, the Quebec Solidarity Institute has hired researcher Yves Lévesque to analyze the annual financial statements of healthcare organizations and summarize the extent of use by independent workers in recent years. No job title escaped the rise of freelance employees.

Some regions used more freelance workers in 2020-2021 than others. This reduced costs from $ 28 million to $ 96 million, especially in Laurentians. Melanie Loroch, a spokeswoman for CISSS des Laurentite, attributed the 26% increase to defense spending. “Security guards from private companies, among others, must ensure that health measures are respected in most of our facilities,” he said.

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MMe Laroch says CISSS had to send reinforcements to staff at “dozens of private resources in the region” during epidemics. “In many cases, mobilizing these employees with our private partners has forced CISSS to partially compensate for the lack of independent workers,” he said.

According to Quebec, a “vicious circle”

Quebec Solid Health spokesman Vincent Maricel believes that seeking out private agencies is “an endless vicious circle” and that it is time to “exclude oneself from agencies”. His party hopes it can do so in three years. Especially by completely eliminating the use of agencies in various maintenance fields. Mr. Marisel believes there is a solution to better working conditions and better pay for health workers.

Nancy Pedard, president of Quebec’s Interprofessional Health Federation (FIQ), said forced overtime abuse, overburdening nurses and government orders accepted during epidemics have pushed many nurses into the private sector. “We saw dozens of people going private on the network a day,” he says.

In April, the government approved a ministerial order specifically prohibiting a nurse who leaves the network from returning to work there for 90 days through an agency. This order had a definite effect, Mr.Me However, Bedard believes a lot more needs to be done.

Last Monday, Prime Minister Franசois Legalt said the shortage of nurses on the network “prevented him from sleeping”. “There, things are moving. It’s never too late to do it right. But waiting for you to get there before you do something is shocking.”Me Bedard.

Since 2006, the network has been plagued by restructuring. […] The solution is in the best working conditions. But it is important to re-create a sense of belonging, ”said Jeff Beckley, president of the Federation of Health and Social Services (FSSS-CSN).

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At a press conference last week, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dube, noted that the situation for nurses will change because their new collective agreement will come into effect soon. “We have not yet seen all the benefits of the collective agreement that has just been signed [qu’il y aura] Positive Implications for Reducing Compulsory Overtime, ”Mr Tube asked the nurses,“ Wait until everything signed into the agreement pays off. [collective] .

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