Gatineau hospitals lure retired workers

Deal with unions allows retirees to work flexible hours

Chronic staffing shortages have made hospitals and clinics in Gatineau, Que., turn to retired health-care professionals.

The Gatineau Health and Social Services Centre, which oversees local health-care facilities, has reached an agreement with union leaders to allow retired workers to return for a few hours a week.

Flexibility is key for retired nurses, said Elizabeth Leduc, president of the Outaouais nurses union.

The deal with the unions allows retirees to choose when they want to work, unlike other employees who are restricted by scheduling rules. The income the retirees earn also won't affect their Quebec Pension Plan.

Two retirees have already signed on and the centre says interest is high, with nearly 40 people attending an information session last month.

A study done last year found Outaouais, the region that includes Gatineau, is short 66 family doctors, 50 specialists, 200 nurses and 10 to 12 pharmacists compared to other regions in Quebec.

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