Quebec will dole out up to $18K in bonuses to full-time nurses amid critical shortage

Quebec will offer bonuses of upwards of $12,000 to nurses who choose to work full time in the public health system as the province grapples with an urgent shortage of workers, the premier said Thursday.

François Legault unveiled the plan saying that an exceptional situation requires exceptional measures, which includes better financial incentives for nurses.

“We need you,” Legault said, speaking directly to nurses. “Quebecers need you.”

Nurses who are working full-time in the public health network will receive a bonus of $15,000. Those who are currently working at a part-time capacity will also receive $15,000 if they take on full-time hours.

Read more: Quebec nurses need better working conditions, according to report

The government will also offer $12,000 to any retired nurse who chooses to come back full time. In a bid to bring back those who left for the private system, Quebec will give them the same amount to return.

Quebec will offer up to $18,000 to nurses who take on full-time hours in certain regions where the labour shortage is chronic.

“We’re trying to think outside of the box,” Legault said.

The plan comes as the government recently revealed it is lacking about 4,000 nurses in the public health network — a problem that Legault admitted is critical.

The shortage has also been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has strained resources and put health-care workers on the front lines of the crisis for 18 months. But those in the field say some of the issues facing nurses stem from long ago, such as forced overtime.

More to come

with files from Global News’ Raquel Fletcher

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Lakeshore hospital closes 2 operating rooms after nurses needed for ICU patients' 2:07 COVID-19: Lakeshore hospital closes 2 operating rooms after nurses needed for ICU patients

COVID-19: Lakeshore hospital closes 2 operating rooms after nurses needed for ICU patients

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