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Sant&eacute ;: nearly 1 billion for agencies in Ontario in 2023

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The hourly rate of agency staff placement can be 2 to 3 times higher than that of regular employees. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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Hospitals and homes for Seniors in Ontario spent more than $952 million last year on staff from private recruitment agencies, according to Ministry of Health figures obtained by the Canadian Press.

Like other provinces, Ontario faces a shortage of nurses and orderlies, forcing establishments to turn to placement agencies.

According to a document produced in November 2023 by the Department of Health that the Canadian Press obtained through a request for access to information, the use of these private agencies has jumped from 2021-2022 to 2022-2023.

Hospitals and seniors' homes have complained for several years about the high cost of placement agencies, whose hourly rate can be double or even triple that of regular employees.

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Lisa Levin, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario, which represents non-profit long-term care centers, says private agencies have a role to play in the system, but that the cost of temporary staff has become so high that it undermines the budgets of its members.

The office of the Minister of Health Sylvia Jones says placement agencies are a tool available to establishments in the north of the province and rural areas in particular, but that the province is also looking to increase the number of nurses in the network, thanks to to different programs.

With information from The Canadian Press

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