Calls for Auditor General to review N.L. travel nursing contracts

Posted: February 20, 2024 10:55 am | Last Updated: February 20th, 2024 8:34 pm
By Beth Penney


The Registered Nurses’ Union, and the Official Opposition are calling on the Auditor General to review travel nursing contracts with the province, following a Globe and Mail investigative story.

The report found that Newfoundland and Labrador spent $35.6 million dollars on travel nurses from April to August last year, up from an average of $1 million dollars annually before the pandemic.

Also, it raised questions on governments dealings with Canadian Health Labs, a private staffing company that recruited nurses from outside the province to help staff health care facilities in this province. Now, Health Minister Tom Osborne says, he has asked for more information from the health authority.

PC Party Leader Tony Wakeham is calling on the Auditor General to review government’s use of travel nurses.

Wakeham said that the sole-sourced contract directed by the Premier’s Office appears to have no financial controls, leading to inflated costs within the healthcare system for travel nurses. 

“A lobbyist for the travel nursing agency contacted an aide in the Premier’s Office, and within a short period, the Furey Liberal government awarded a sole-sourced contract with no financial controls to this agency,” said Wakeham. “This is neither sustainable nor sensible, and it undermines the integrity of our healthcare system.”

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