By Gordon Lambie
The Legault government presented a billion dollar plan to try to revive the nursing profession in the province of Quebec on Thursday, including bonuses of up to $15,000 per person per year for full time nurses working in the public system, and similar incentives for those who have left the public system, should they return. The plan also proposes the elimination of mandatory overtime, although that objective is listed as a possibility rather than a definite decision.
The goal of the plan, according to the premier, is to try to counteract the snowball effect of nurses quitting because they feel overwhelmed by the demands of the system, which then makes the remaining nurses feel more overwhelmed.
Health Minister Christian Dubé recently stated that the healthcare network is short more than 4,000 nurses.
The Province of Quebec reported 754 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of people infected to 405,728, with 6,518 active cases.
There were seven new deaths recorded, for a total of 11,347 since the start of the pandemic, and 283 hospitalizations: an increase of 3 compared to the previous day. Of those 283, 90 people were in intensive care: a decrease of one compared to the previous day.
In the Eastern Townships there were 264 active cases on Thursday. Although the highest number of cases in a particular region was 108, in Sherbrooke, the Des Sources region had the highest rate of infection in relation to its population, with 133.6 cases paer 100,000 people. A more detailed breakdown of the local situation is expected on Friday morning from the regional public health department.
The province did not update vaccination data on Thursday, but as of the most recent information available, 78 per cent of the entire province had received at least one dose, which represents 89 per cent of those eligible to receive a vaccine. A total of 84.5 per cent of those eligible are now considered adequately vaccinated.