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Portrait des conditions de pratique et de la pénurie des effectifs infirmiers au Québec


  • Mathieu Laberge
  • Claude Montmarquette


This study wants to draw a broad picture of the employment context for nurses in the province of Quebec and to compare it with other provinces. We found that Quebec nurses work less than nurses in the rest of Canada, in terms of effective hours worked, of contracted hours and in terms of overtime worked. That weak work intensity in Quebec could be explained by a larger proportion of part time nurses and by the longer and more frequent sick leaves. We also looked at the shortage of nurses, as computed by the department of Health and social services (Ministère de la Santé et des services sociaux). We found that the so-called shortage of nurses did not represent the needs of workers to give more services to the patients, but the needs of workers to eliminate extra overtime worked by nurses. We also found that methodological choices made by the department lead to an overestimation of 16% to 18% of the effective shortage. Three scenarios of increased work effort show that it would be possible to reduce the shortage by 20% to 30%, including the methodological correction on the computations. Ce document vise à établir un portrait du contexte de pratique des effectifs infirmiers québécois et de les comparer avec celui qui prévaut dans les autres provinces canadiennes. On trouve dans un premier temps que l'intensité de travail des infirmières québécoises est plus faible que celle du reste du Canada, notamment au chapitre des heures effectives travaillées, des heures contractées et des heures supplémentaires. Cette intensité moindre pourrait s'expliquer par une plus grande proportion d'infirmières à temps partiel et par des absences plus longues et plus fréquentes au Québec que dans les autres provinces. On aborde également le calcul de la pénurie d'infirmières effectué par le MSSS. On trouve que ce calcul ne reflète pas les besoins d'effectifs infirmiers pour répondre à la demande pour les soins de santé, mais bien les besoins en effectifs qui permettraient d'éliminer les heures supplémentaires excédentaires travaillées par les infirmières. On trouve également que les choix méthodologiques surestiment de 16 % à 18 % la pénurie effective. Divers scénarios montrent ensuite l'effet d'une augmentation graduelle de l'intensité du travail des infirmières sur l'ampleur de la pénurie. Ceux-ci montrent une diminution de 20 % à 30 % de la pénurie, en incluant la correction méthodologique abordée précédemment.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathieu Laberge & Claude Montmarquette, 2009. "Portrait des conditions de pratique et de la pénurie des effectifs infirmiers au Québec," CIRANO Project Reports 2009rp-01, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirpro:2009rp-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schoemaker, Paul J H, 1982. "The Expected Utility Model: Its Variants, Purposes, Evidence and Limitations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 529-563, June.
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    More about this item


    Nurses; nurses' shortage; health economics; health care.; Effectifs infirmiers; pénurie d'infirmières; économie de la santé; soins de santé.;

    JEL classification:

    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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