HEU welcomes deal that would stop the closure of Saint Mary’s Hospital
The Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) is welcoming a new agreement that will give Saint Mary’s Hospital a significant lifeline, while cautioning that the new business plan could erode the hospital’s public healthcare services over the longer term.
Referring to the community-wide campaign aimed at stopping the hospital’s closure, HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt called the agreement “a tremendous victory for the community and the 300 health care workers whose combined efforts over the last nine months have saved one of New Westminster’s most valued health care resources.”
“Although we’re still studying the details it appears this agreement, in the short-term, will protect services and jobs,” he said. “However, without long-term core funding, the future of Saint Mary’s as a viable, acute care facility could still be at risk.”
Under the terms of the three-year “purchaser-provider agreement” between the Fraser Health Authority and Saint Mary’s Hospital, the hospital will raise funds by contracting in services from such third party players as the Worker’s Compensation Board and the Insurance Corporation of B.C. as well as other health regions, provinces, and potentially other countries.
-30- For more information contact Patty Gibson, communications officer, at (604) 456-7007 or (cell) 328-7393