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‘Roll out the red carpet’ to attract retired health-care workers in Quebec, demands opposition

FILE. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Quebec must “roll out the red carpet” to attract retired health-care workers back into the field to help fight the pandemic, according to the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ).

The retirees would be particularly useful in the province’s CHSLDs, where the situation remains extremely fragile, according to the party.

In a letter to Health Minister Christian Dubé, Liberal spokesperson for seniors Monique Sauvé proposes offering tax credits and other benefits.

“Despite your repeated calls to retirees from the health network, it is clear that the incentive is not there,” Sauvé said in her letter to the minister.

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“The human resources deficit is widening,” she adds. “We must try to make the invitation to return to work more attractive.”

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The PLQ is also requesting that the government commit to:

  • Not penalizing the retirement benefits of the worker.
  • Pay the work permit or the worker’s contribution to a professional order.
  • Assign the worker to a single CHSLD.
  • Not force the worker to work overtime.

Retirees returning to work should also be able to determine the number of hours they wish to work, according to Sauvé, who specifies that the proposal will target workers who have retired within the last five years.

The PLQ does not say how many additional positions are needed but calculates that attracting 6,000 retirees with their proposed measures would cost the province $90 million.

In her letter, Sauvé claims that 61 CHSLDs have active cases of COVID-19, two of them with more than 25 per cent of their residents with confirmed cases.

Eight of the CHSLDs have an infection rate between 15 per cent and 25 per cent and “it continues to rise,” she says.