N.S. spending tens of millions of dollars on private nursing companies for long-term care – CBC

Province paying ‘travel nurses’ at least double the amount of those in public sector

Nov 17, 2022

As Nova Scotia tries to deal with a shortage of health-care professionals that has put the entire health system under strain, the province is devoting tens of millions of dollars toward the services of “travel nurses.”

The provincial government is paying the private contract nurses at least double the hourly wage of public-sector nurses. The higher pay often comes with greater flexibility in scheduling, which some nurses say is attracting many early career staff to move out of the public sector — even as health officials grapple with recruitment and retention.

Travel nurses, who are sometimes known as “agency” or “locum” staff, are health-care workers who are employed by private companies that provide extra nursing staff where they’re needed.

Many companies will fly nurses around the country on short- or long-term contracts, often working within public-sector hospitals and long-term care homes. The nurses are required to be registered and licensed to work in the province where they’re sent, including in Nova Scotia.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-private-nursing-spending-millions-1.6652118

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