Contracting out on Interior Health Authority radar — HEU

News release

The Interior Health Authority won’t rule out the privatization of a wide range of critical health services in the communities it serves.

The IHA said in a Sept. 9 memo to its managers that it is undertaking core reviews in a variety of programs and services including laundry, food services, maintenance, medical records, purchasing and warehousing, security and scheduling.

Also included are services like payroll, accounting, admissions, biomedical engineering, diagnostic imaging, human resources, laboratories, logistics, medical transcription, pharmacy and scheduling. Home and community care programs are also candidates for possible contracting out.

The Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) says that if these vital services are contracted out, it will break up the health care team and have a devastating effect on the economies of the affected communities.

“Privatization robs the health care system of accountability and bleeds family supporting wages out of communities and into corporate coffers,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“I urge the IHA to put the communities it serves ahead of the ideologically-driven directives it receives from Victoria.”

Allnutt says the HEU is discussing alternatives to privatization with IHA officials and is hopeful a solution can be found that shows respect for the skills, experience and commitment of front-line health care workers.

— 30 — Contact: Kathy Jessome, northern director, 250-960-9786 (cell) Dale Fuller, communications officer, 604-456-7036 or 604-818-5105