Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Privatization of hospital laundry services in the Interior raised by MLA Rice in Legislature

A plan that the Provincial Government has in mind to privatize laundry services at Interior Health caught the attention of North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice on Monday, with the MLA taking the issue to Question period in the afternoon session.

Ms. Rice addressed her question to Health Minister Terry Lake, expressing her concerns when it comes to the shift the current model of laundry services that is in place at the health agency that serves Kamloops, Kelowna and other communities in the province

Highlighting in particular the number of jobs that would impacted by the decision and raising a further concern of the prospect of some of the services actually ending up being provided by a company in Alberta.

"175 jobs could be lost in Kelowna, Kamloops, Nelson, Vernon, Penticton and in the Cariboo. Again, there's no guarantee that these good-paying, family-supporting jobs are going to stay within British Columbia.  

The health authority is following the mandate of the provincial government, whose preference is to privatize more and more aspects of the health care system. 

Considering that the health authority is clearly satisfied with the efficiency of the laundry services, why is the Liberal government insisting that they eliminate these good, family-supporting jobs? "  -- North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice in the Legislature on Monday afternoon

In response, the Health Minister advised the MLA that the Health Authority and the Ministry are consistent in their wish to get the best deal for the taxpayer, adding that when it comes to health care, the Province wants to make sure that health money is spent on front line services and not on items such as laundry service.

You can drop into the debate from the excerpt below from the Legislature Question Period.

You can review the full exchange further from the pages of the Legislature record, the topic is introduced at the 14:20 mark.

For more items from the Legislature see our archive page here.

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