Author: Deborah

Toronto Hospitals Are Responding to a Crisis in the Health-Care Sector

Toronto Hospitals Are Responding to a Crisis in the Health-Care Sector

‘It’s going to bankrupt health care’: Spending on temp agency nurses up more than 550% since pre-pandemic at one Toronto hospital network, report says.

The Canadian Press Published Tuesday, March 23, 2020, 12:00AM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, March 23, 2020, 6:59PM EDT

TORONTO — The health-care industry is facing a major challenge, a report has warned, as temporary staffing agency nurses take on increasing numbers of new patients at Toronto hospitals to cover for vacancies in emergency rooms and in the intensive care unit, which used to have a nursing shortage.

The report by Deloitte LLP in conjunction with a Toronto hospital network warns that increasing spending and a shortage of nursing talent are driving a crisis in the sector as the demand for nursing hours across the country increases.

But some hospitals say they are trying to respond to the challenge, even as they continue to suffer from financial problems.

Toronto hospital network AHS said during a visit to Toronto General Hospital on Monday that temporary nurses, who are employees of staffing agency temp agencies, are working extra hours at the hospital in response to an increase in patient volumes.

Temporary staffing agency Nisa said in a statement that the hospital network asked that any temporary nursing staff working in intensive care be placed in another unit.

But hospital officials said they are not looking to increase staffing levels at their hospitals, though they remain committed to delivering the care their patients need.

“Hospitals can’t take care of everything,” said Dr. Nita Hardwick, president of AHS. “We’re looking to make sure that the critical services that people need are available whenever they need them.”

The crisis in the health-care sector began in March of 2018, when the U.S. government shut down hospitals with no explanation and led to waves of layoffs, which in turn led to layoffs at all levels within the healthcare system.

Temporary staffing agency nurses now work as the new face of care for the chronically ill to fill in the gaps left by a lack of nurses who had left to go back to work as a result of the virus outbreak.

The temporary staffing agency nurses are taking on more patients at the hospitals. They are not only filling emergency room vacancies, but also taking on some responsibilities that would

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