Central Well being spent over $4M on journey nurses in lower than a yr

Central Well being spent $4.2 million on personal company nurses between January and September of this yr, CBC Information has discovered.

The Newfoundland and Labrador well being authority, which is accountable for about 93,000 folks, mentioned as of November it had 62 journey nurses on web site, with 86 contracts having been accomplished by the identical date. A spokesperson from Central Well being mentioned that some nurses have accomplished a number of stints. 

Of the $4.2 million complete, $1.2 million was spent on long-term care. 

The usage of personal nurses skyrocketed throughout Canada within the final yr because the health-care system struggled to retain and recruit nurses and different medical professionals.

However questions encompass the extent of due diligence supplied by personal nursing corporations, after a lady in Gander allegedly faked her registered nursing {qualifications} at a long-term care residence this week.

Central Well being mentioned this week that 43-year-old Lisa Driscoll was capable of work 25 shifts at Lakeside Houses, regardless of not having a licence.

CBC Information was capable of finding Driscoll’s identify on an inventory of identified unlicensed nurses revealed in Ontario. A search of archived variations of the web page present her identify was there earlier than she was employed to work at Lakeside Houses.

Driscoll, who additionally goes by Lisa Strickland, was convicted in 2021 of legal negligence inflicting demise after her four-year-old son was poisoned to demise. 

Central Well being mentioned Driscoll labored for a journey nursing company, Options Staffing Inc., which relies in Vancouver. The corporate has not responded to repeated calls and emails from CBC Information. 

Central Well being says Lisa Strickland, 43, impersonated a nurse and was capable of work 25 shifts at a long-term care residence in Gander earlier than being discovered. (Fb)

Yvette Coffey, president of the Registered Nurses’ Union of Newfoundland and Labrador, has lengthy warned of the results of personal corporations on the general public well being system. 

“These journey nurses work side-by-side with registered nurses working in our public system who face huge stress to look after sufferers in communities all through our province,” mentioned Coffey in a press release Thursday. 

“They receives a commission twice as a lot or extra and have precise management over their life and schedule.”

Coffey mentioned the regional well being authorities spent $8.8 million on personal journey nurses in lower than one yr. 

Labrador-Grenfell Well being has used company nurses prior to now to fill gaps in hard-to-staff areas, just like the remoted north coast. Nevertheless, it was a comparatively new endeavour for the opposite well being authorities throughout the province. 

Company nurses are finally paid with public funds, though they work for personal corporations.

In a CBC Investigates piece this summer time, Japanese Well being mentioned the typical price per 12-hour day labored, which varies relying on the world of project, is about $1,100. 

On the time, Well being Minister Tom Osborne mentioned he agreed with Coffey however known as the contracts a necessity as a way to preserve the health-care system afloat. 

In an interview in December, Central Well being CEO Andrée Robichaud lamented staffing challenges, and mentioned the James Paton Memorial Regional Well being Centre alone has a 40 per cent nursing emptiness price. 

Learn extra from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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