As we move further into the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials in the Ministry of Health have been working to ensure that health human resource needs can be met.
Earlier this year, PARO worked with Hospitals, Universities, the CPSO and government to provide a mechanism for residents to voluntarily provide additional clinical services outside of their programs and be paid to do so.
On April 22nd the Ontario Government passed an Order in Cabinet that authorized the ability of health care professionals to provide patient care services outside the regular scope of their license and enabled hospitals to employ or contract for those services. This provision set the stage for the creation of the Medical Resident Redeployment Program which was in effect from April 29th to July 31st. During this time, our members provided thousands of hours of care outside of their training program and were compensated for this work.
On Friday September 24th, the Government notified Ontario Hospitals that they were re-implementing the Medical Resident Redeployment Program effective immediately until December 31st in recognition of the vital role that residents can play in providing care related to a surge in clinical care needs during the fourth wave.
What does this mean?
If you want to participate in this program and are assigned to provide any additional patient care outside of the normal hours of your training program in a hospital or other approved setting, including providing vaccinations, you will be eligible to be paid $50/hour for this work. This extra pay does not apply if it is service that you are providing and getting training credit for – i.e. where the work is already part of your training program and therefore paid by your regular salary. However, if you are available outside of the specific requirement of your training program, or on vacation, and you are needed and available to provide services, then this hourly rate can be used by the hospital to hire you to do the work. This includes situations where a service has a hole in the call schedule and asks someone to volunteer to cover the call. Similarly, if you are asked to volunteer to cover extra call on the weekend or at night, then this program would apply.
We’ve been in touch with the PG Deans to let them know that this program is operational again. I am pleased to tell you, that the CMPA has confirmed that any resident who participates in this program will automatically be covered by the CMPA. Unlike residents who obtain a Restricted Registration certificate, residents participating in this program will not need to notify CMPA or change your classification code, as long as your educational CMPA coverage is valid.
Due to the extraordinary nature of the pandemic, work under the MRRP is not subject to the terms of the collective agreement. You should volunteer for this work when you can do it safely and when it doesn’t interfere with your regular duties or your ability to meet your rotational educational objectives. However, at the same time, you cannot be pressured or coerced into doing this extra work, and if that is happening, please contact the PARO office immediately.
If you want more information about the MRRP program you will find most questions answered on our COVID Webpage – under the heading Medical Resident Redeployment Program.
For those of you who have been asked to volunteer to work extra shifts or who are thinking of volunteering in the future, we have worked hard to ensure that there is a way for all residents to be eligible and ensure that you will receive extra pay for doing this work, as a tangible way of recognizing your contribution.
Dr. Carl White Ulysse