‘We Need You’: Quebec Begs Health Workers to Return to Work

(Bloomberg) -- Quebec Premier Francois Legault urged health-care employees who have been off work to return and help ease a labor crunch that’s grown to 9,500 staff during the pandemic.

While 4,000 workers are infected, another 5,500 are not showing up for other reasons, including fear of getting sick, Legault said during a press conference Thursday. The number went up by 800 overnight.

‘We Need You’: Quebec Begs Health Workers to Return to Work

“In a network facing a situation that’s more difficult than usual, 9,500 is enormous,” he said. “I want to make a call to the people who are at home, who in some cases are completing a 14-day quarantine after having been infected: We need you.”

The French-speaking province has been the hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than half of Canada’s confirmed cases and deaths. Unable to find enough people, Legault asked the federal government on Wednesday for 1,000 soldiers at long-term care facilities, where hundreds of seniors have died. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to the request.

Asked about local media report that workers aren’t getting the equipment they need and use makeshift gear, Legault tried to assuage their fears.

“We have all the personal protection equipment, and we’re sending clear guidelines to take no chance, no risk for your safety,” he said.

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