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The Manitoba government has announced more investments to try and retain and recruit nurses to the province.

Today's announcement is an extension of the Human Health Resource Action Plan which was announced in November. In November, the province announced a commitment to end mandatory overtime and add 2,000 healthcare professionals.

Now, the province has announced a $123 Million investment to continue that work, with nine initiatives, introduced today:

  • a new hourly premium for nurses who work weekend hours;
  • a new annual payment for nurses who hold the equivalent of a full-time position, as this helps to build more stability in the workforce;
  • reimbursing the costs of nurses’ professional licensing fees;
  • an annual incentive for nurses who are eligible to retire but choose to remain in the workforce for up to an additional two years, to retain valued expertise and build capacity as new nurses are recruited into the workforce;
  • an incentive for nurses who have previously left the profession but choose to return to the workforce;
  • a new refer-a-nurse program for current nurses who refer a prospective nurse to a Manitoba employer;
  • a provincial float pool to support nurse staffing needs across the province;
  • a travel nurse incentive that will provide an additional hourly premium for nurses who travel to work in remote locations; and
  • a wellness incentive, which adds additional funds to the health spending accounts of full and part-time nurses to help to cover the costs of eligible expenses.

Health Minister Audrey Gordon made the announcement, saying in a news release that nurses are an extremely important part of the healthcare system.

“These incentives improve nurse staffing where there are high demands and needs in the healthcare system such as weekend coverage. We are already beginning to see positive results from these strategic investments and I want to assure all of Manitoba’s healthcare providers that more supports are on the way as the Health Human Resource Action Plan is rolled out.”

Since the original announcement in November, the province says that 330 new health-care providers have been hired including nurses, health-care aides, physicians and other staff who provide bedside care.