The operating room nurses at CHU de Québec who are reappointed to the hotspot will be replaced by surgeons who will perform their duties at a substantial cost with a salary of up to 9 times.
The application was made to all surgeons of the CHU de Québec-Université Laval, on Tuesday, by the head of the department, DReturn Jose Gagnon.
Specialists will be called in to replace the in-house nurses in the operating room in order to allow activities to continue.
“We are not claiming that we will be as qualified as them,” he is keen on specifying D.Return Gagnon, adding that “this task may be billable as a reset.”
However, under the 241 Letter of Understanding signed last December, doctors can claim an average wage of $ 211 an hour for this “exchange”.
Housekeeping duties are usually performed by a nurse or nursing aide, with first steps around $ 25 an hour.
Not everyone agrees
This is reality that interacts internally, according to our information. We fear in particular the reaction of the nursing staff when they are informed, “Morale is already at its lowest.”
The procedure will not be unanimous either on the part of the surgeons. While some have already confirmed their interest, others will be more hesitant.
“There are surgeons who are silly to come and get that from the salary they get while working with nurses who earn $ 25 an hour. They find it ridiculous,” says a source familiar with the matter.
The Confederation of Occupational Health of Quebec (FIQ) is also protesting the practice it describes as being disrespectful.
“Changing someone’s location, forcing them to go and work elsewhere, then replacing them at a high cost for someone else, it’s a real shame. It’s disrespectful,” Nancy Hogan, CHU de Québec Chair at FIQ laments.
Anxiety about the future
Moreover, the union is anxious about the future, fearing that this kind of work may only be the beginning.
If the situation continues to escalate in the coming weeks, staff turnover and opportunities for “reassignment” will increase.
CHU confirmed that some doctors could be reassigned to “extended medical assignments”.
In this way, “the effect of moving nurses to support COVID units is less, and more patients can be employed,” the department says.