On Wednesday, Interior Health Authority board members will
hear the case for protecting Royal
publicly delivered security services.
According to the Hospital Employees’ Union,
the health authority’s claims of $159,000 annual savings are reduced or
eliminated when the full costs of the private security contract are calculated.
For example, services such as “sitter” duties that involve
one-on-one monitoring of patients who present a danger to themselves or others,
fire safety equipment testing and maintenance, as well as “Code White”
responses to violent incidents would either be downloaded onto other health
care workers and departments or charged to the health authority as “cost plus” items.
The union’s presentation also includes letters of support
from many staff at RIH, including doctors, who are concerned that contracting
out will mean a disruption of the health care team, the loss of specialized
knowledge and experience, and decreased hospital safety.
As one of the letters points out, RIH has unique security
requirements. It is the only hospital in the health authority that has an Adult
Psychiatric Ward on the same floor with patients as young as six years old.
In September, Interior Health announced plans to contract
out the work of 16 security officers at Royal Inland
Hospital. On November 17,
HEU staff and security officers also presented the case for maintaining
in-house security to health authority management responsible for overseeing these
Health Authority Open Board Meeting presentation
November 18 – 9:00 a.m. (presentation begins)
Where: Boardroom 1, 1815 Kirschner Road, Kelowna