Author: Hannah

Nurses are being asked to pay more for PPE

Nurses are being asked to pay more for PPE

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

More than a year after COVID-19 made hospital visits more expensive for patients and families, nurses are being asked to pay a higher price. The cost for a nurse’s personal protective equipment (PPE) is escalating by an average of 300 per cent, with more than $2,100 per hour being spent on such items by a single nurse during COVID-19, according to an Ontario Hospital Association report. Meanwhile, hospitals are turning to temporary staffing agencies to staff wards and operating rooms, bringing the cost of PPE for nursing staff even higher. At St. Michael’s Hospital, which currently employs about 400 nurses, the average hourly charge for a nurse with a personal protective equipment (PPE) is $3,097.60 on average, up from $1,824.50 in mid-March 2019. The average hourly charges for nurses who don’t use PPE is now $2,926.60 on average, up from $1,864.80 in mid-March. “It’s a tremendous cost to our patients. This is being driven not only by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to support frontline health-care workers and our hospital’s ability to operate, but also by the pressures in the labour market,” said Chris Batista, president and CEO of St. Michael’s. “The result is the need for increased resources, and we know that will be expensive.”

As of April 24, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) has been asked to purchase PPE for a total of 15,964 nurses, according to a June 7th letter from Ontario’s Human Resources and Skills Development (HR&SD) Minister Patty Hajdu to OHA president & CEO Chris Batista. That is approximately a 1,834 per cent increase since mid-

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