Alberta’s reliance on contract nurses could further erode health-care system, critics say – CBC

AHS spent $5.1 million in 2021-22 on travel nurses — 13 times more than in 2015-16

Feb 06, 2023

Alberta hospitals and health-care centres have become increasingly dependent on contract nurses and other workers to stay functional — a trend that critics say must stop before it erodes an already beleaguered public workforce.

Contract data publicly posted by Alberta Health Services shows the province’s largest health-care provider has increased its spending on staffing agencies more than tenfold during the last seven years.

“This is indicative of just how bad things really are,” Heather Smith, president of the United Nurses of Alberta, said in an interview. “There’s no short-term relief. There’s no magic bullet to turn it around overnight.”

Smith said Alberta’s 30,000 registered and registered psychiatric nurses (RNs and RPNs) are increasingly being told to work mandatory overtime and fielding desperate calls to come in on their days off.

Read more:

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More