Quebec nurses’ workload in long-term care homes highlighted in FIQ report

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Quebec nurses’ workload in long-term care homes highlighted in FIQ report
WATCH: The Montérégie-Est area holds the prize for the worst healthcare professional-to-patient ratios, according to the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec . As Global's Tim Sargeant explains, health-care workers say they are overburdened and short staffed. – Oct 21, 2020

The Montérégie-Est area has the worst healthcare professional-to-patient ratios in Quebec, according to a new report.

The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) rated the province’s long-term care homes and published their findings Wednesday.

To illustrate how the shortage of health-care workers is affecting patient care, the FIQ held a demonstration on the grounds of CHSLD René-Lévesque in Longueuil. The protest included 120 mannequins placed on the ground and a single health-care worker simulated making their patient rounds.

READ MORE: Nurses stage protests on Montreal and Quebec City bridges over work conditions

“(Nurses) have an inhuman workload and their professional responsibilities are enormous,” said FIQ president Nancy Bédard in a statement. “They are faced with making choices by prioritizing certain care over others.”

The Manoir-Trinité in Montérégie-Est, singled out in the report, was listed as having a patient-to-worker ratio of 119 patients for one night nursing assistant.

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On Monday, nurses with the (FIQ) disrupted traffic on two major bridges in Montreal and Quebec City, saying they were unhappy with negotiations with the Quebec government.

The FIQ represents 76,000 nurses, licensed practical nurses and respiratory therapists across the province. Their collective agreement expired on March 31.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Quebec Premier François Legault said he was ready to “do everything” to reduce the workload of nurses. But he warned he couldn’t offer higher-than-inflation pay increases at the same time as making “financial efforts to reduce workload.”

Legault said he knows nurses are tired — especially as they deal with the demands of the second wave — and that his government has failed to keep a promise to end mandatory overtime.

Later in the day on Wednesday, however, the Quebec government was granted an emergency hearing before the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT), Quebec’s administrative labour tribunal, to which the FIQ was summoned.

In a news release the TAT said it granted the hearing following a request for intervention from the employer’s negotiating committee the CPNSSS.

“This request from the committee follows the announcement of a possible concerted action planned for Oct. 24 and 25 in connection with compulsory overtime,” the release reads.

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According to the TAT, the government is hoping the tribunal will intervene in order to prevent possible strikes, fearing they could compromise health services to which the population is entitled.

The hearing will be held on Thursday morning in Montreal.

With files from The Canadian Press

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