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Southlake hospital looks to fill 450 staff positions

Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket is looking to fill 450 positions.

On Wednesday, the hospital held a job fair to attract potential employees to help fill gaps brought on by the pandemic.

"We're looking for multiple positions; nursing, allied health, which includes physio, occupational therapy, etc.," said Barbara Steed, the executive vice-president of clinical services at Southlake.

Over 200 people arrived to meet hospital staff and apply for various positions.

According to Steed, the hospital hired 650 new employees over the last year but needs another 450, many of which are nurses.

"I've never seen it like this in all my years of health care," said Steed.

"This is a bit of a long-term problem. It will take four years or longer depending on the programs and disciplines that people are graduating from."

The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) reports the province's supply of registered nurses (RNs) is below the national average.

Numbers attributed to the Canadian Institute of Health Information reveal the Canadian average is 830.5 RNs per 100,000 people.

In Ontario, that number is 668 per 100,000.

"The staffing across the province is absolutely horrific," said Angela Preocanin, ONA's first vice president. "We would need 25,000 just to fill the gap."

Preocanin said an increased wage would attract more candidates and retain current staff.

Anyone interested in joining the Southlake team, who may have missed the job fair, can still apply on its website. Top Stories

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