Agency staff cost Ontario hospitals, LTC homes nearly $1B in 2023 – CBC

Ministry of Health document shows agency use increased from 2021-22 to 2022-23 by every metric

Mar 25, 2024

Hospitals and long-term care homes spent nearly $1 billion last year to fill shifts with nurses and personal support workers from private staffing agencies, a Ministry of Health document estimates.

A November 2023 staffing agency update obtained by The Canadian Press through a freedom of information request shows that agency use increased from 2021-2022 to 2022-2023 by every metric — in hospitals and long-term care, in hours worked and in total costs.

Hospitals and long-term care homes turn to staffing agencies when they can’t fill all of their shifts with employees, and the temporary nurses and PSWs from agencies allow them to continue providing services in the face of staff shortages.

But agencies charge double or even triple the regular hourly rate for their staff, hospitals and long-term care homes have said.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones has repeated recently that agency usage is going down in the province.

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