PUBLIC HOSPITALS ARE PAYING PRIVATE AGENCIES MILLIONS TO SUPPLY NURSES

Aug 16, 2022

By Christine Ross

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Hospital spending on privately-owned temp agency nurses has soared by millions amid a staffing crisis in healthcare.

A Toronto Star investigation finds that University Health Network spent $6.7 million, that’s up 550 % over pre-pandemic years. The nursing unions say hospitals have increasingly turned toward agency nurses to fill vacancies.

But critics say it’s a band aid solution only, that’s forcing exhausted nurses to leave permanent jobs for flexible ones at privately owned temp agencies — where they often make double.

Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses Association says agency nursing is a form of privatization. UHN CEO Kevin Smith says without agency nurses, the hospital would be forced to close services to Ontarians.

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