Terrible Tales #6 – The Band-Aid solution
Northern First Nations communities are in dire need of dedicated, committed nurses. This is a key profession that has been significantly affected by the use of contractors. The federal government doesn’t pay its nurses competitive wages, and it doesn't compensate them properly for travelling to remote communities. As a result, there has been a decline in the number of nurses who are willing to work and stay in these jobs and live in Northern First Nation communities. Contracted nurses are then brought in to fill the void.
It is common knowledge that the salaries of contracted nurses are almost double those of federal public sector nurses. With managers so obviously ready and willing to double their staffing costs, it’s no wonder that the government finds it next to impossible to attract and retain its own nurses!
Canada’s remote communities need dedicated, long-term nurses who can build the relationships needed to best treat and serve residents. Short-term contracted nurses who dip in and out of these already-underinvested communities are nothing but a Band-Aid solution.