The house I have bought in Yarmouth this summer is being overhauled as you’ll have seen from previous posts.
I got an email from the gentleman from whom I bought the house and who is@germainewoman overseeing some renovations for me. He was approached by a nursing agency to see if he could arrange some accommodations for traveling nurses. The agency offered to pay him $2,900 a month plus taxes for the rental of my house in Yarmouth. He of course, reached out to me to see if I was interested in this offer. He explained that the money would help to defray the costs of the renovations that I am planning to do in the house. So, that’s the background.
Twenty nine hundred dollars ($2,900 + taxes) a month is a lot of money for a rental property in Yarmouth that isn’t one of the old beautiful Victorian and neo Gothic century homes.
I admit to being incredibly intrigued by this possibility, at least at first.
Then I began to think, Nova Scotia, like many other places in Canada is suffering from a nursing shortage, if not an outright crisis. Then I thought, $2,900 a month paid by the agency would be billed back, in all likelihood, to the government of Nova Scotia who is paying for these agency nurses. That is $2,900 that the Nova Scotia government won’t have, to pay full-time nurses.
Not to mention the fact that the agency, is also charging back the government for the cost of the nurses, for which I am sure, they take a healthy commission, over and above what they pay their nurses. The nursing agencies’ (like any business) purpose is to make money. So they are not doing this nurse placement on a not for profit basis.
Where I am right now, in Ontario, we have an absolutely similar issue. Nurses are not being hired for full-time work in hospitals or clinics; instead the government is paying agencies to place nurses on an as needed, temporary basis.
The way that I see it the government is willing to pay a premium over what they would pay a full-time hired nurse who had seniority and benefits, to an agency. I see this development as another step down the road to the privatization of healthcare. As well as an attempt to turn professional services into part of the gig economy.
So I thought long and hard about the offer that my colleague in Yarmouth made. I thought about how much financial pressure accepting this offer would take off of me in order to get the necessary renovations done. Then I started thinking about my personal ethics. I am a firm believer that healthcare, like education, is a public good, and has no business being privatized, or put into the hands of for profit agencies.
In the end, I decided that my ethical stance had to trump my ability to make my renovations easier for me.
My question, I guess, is what are your feelings? Do you think that I’m Nutz to pass up the ability to move forward with renovations while supporting a for-profit nursing agency or was I right to stand on my ethical beliefs?
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