Winnipeg sees sharp jump in health-care staff off sick: Shared Health

There has been a sharp jump in the number of health-care staff off sick in Winnipeg, with around 146,000 hours lost over two weeks due to staff absences.

A spokesperson for Shared Health said in the most recent two-week pay period ending Jan. 12, there were nearly 73,000 hours lost per week due to staff absences. The spokesperson said this is an increase of more than 20 per cent compared to the previous two-week pay period.

“High levels of COVID activity in our province are continuing to impact our workforce in the same way it is hitting others in the province, resulting in a significant increase in staff off sick over the past two weeks,” the spokesperson said in a written statement.

They said, to put it another way, the staff absences amount to an additional 1,625 eight-hour shifts lost per week in the most recent pay period, compared to the previous one.

Compared to the same time last year, an additional 4,260 eight-hour shifts were lost per week.

“Compared to that pre-pandemic pay period, the Winnipeg health region has seen an 88 per cent increase in time lost to illness or absence in the most recent pay period,” they said.

The spokesperson said this sick time is not broken down by reason for absence, and so Shared Health cannot say how many health-care workers have or are recovering from COVID-19, or how many staff are in isolation.

“The health-care system is responding to increased sick rates in a variety of ways, including redeploying and reassigning existing staff as needed,” the spokesperson said.

They said since the beginning of December, there has been 52 staff deployed to personal care homes, including 18 in the past two weeks, along with hundreds of staff who have been deployed to acute care and other service areas since September.

“Additionally, health-care workers have been offered payment in lieu of vacation time for any staff who have scheduled time off during the month of January,” they said, adding the shortened isolation period for asymptomatic staff has also boosted staffing numbers. 

View original article here Source