QUEEN'S PARK – MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), NDP Critic for Long-Term Care, Retirement Homes and Home Care, questioned the government today on the ongoing staffing crisis in long-term care homes and the sky-high fees private staffing agencies are charging non-profit dwellings in Ontario.
"This government has brought the working conditions from bad to worse by ignoring our staffing crisis for so long that they've created a profitable business model for their insider friends— taking advantage of a health human resource crisis," said Gates. "$150 an hour, that's the absurd prices some staffing agencies charge, not-for-profit long-term care homes for a registered nurse."
Recent reports have shown that some temporary staffing agencies in the province have taken advantage of staffing shortages in Ontario's long-term care homes to generate astronomical profits. Those in the sector have noted that 'wage suppression' legislations like Bill 124, on top of difficult working conditions, have forced healthcare staff to these for-profit staffing agencies.
"You created a situation so extreme, with staff shortages and Bill 124, that one non-profit home is spending $3 million on agency workers—10 times what they budgeted," said Gates. "This will reduce care in our homes—people will suffer."
"At what point will this government stop prioritizing profit over people and recognize that long-term care staff are well past being fed up."