Interior Health has introduced new financial incentives to address critical staffing issues in Grand Forks.
IH officials said this is available to frontline workers at Boundary District Hospital, Hardy View Lodge long-term care home and community settings such as home support and mental health substance use services.
“Grand Forks faces unique challenges to staffing which require community-based solutions and thinking outside the box,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “These incentives are an important step towards bringing best practices from around the province to Grand Forks and stabilizing local health services people in the area expect and deserve.”
The bonuses include the following:
- A quarterly retention bonus of up to $2,000 to existing staff, depending on how many hours they work.
- 1.5 times the normal wage for workers who have to travel more than 40 kilometres from other IH sites to support Grand Forks.
- A bonus of up to $1,500 for existing staff who refer other health care workers to eligible positions in Grand Forks.
- Northern Health’s Travel Resource Program (TRP) will be extended to include Grand Forks, giving access to a pool of nurses to support the community.
Limited staffing in Grand Forks led to the temporary closure of inpatient beds at Boundary Hospital in March.
“To date, emergency department services have gone above and beyond to avoid more significant closures, but additional staff are also required to stabilize emergency services and reduce the risk of any interruptions,” said IH officials.
The new incentives are available for these positions:
- Registered Nurse
- Registered Psychiatric Nurse
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Health Care Assistant
- Community Health Worker
- Medical Laboratory Technologist
- Medical Laboratory Assistant
- Radiology Technologist
- Social Worker
- Occupational Therapist
- Frontline Clinical Managers (Referral Bonus and PRRI only)
“These incentives are part of our commitment to local patients and to our current staff and physicians who remained steadfast in their dedication to Grand Forks and Boundary communities during these challenging times,” said Dr. Shallen Letwin, vice president of clinical operations, IH South.
These incentives are now in effect, and IH officials said additional details will be shared with staff and unions to make sure eligible individuals are aware and can access them appropriately.