BC’s Health Authority Plans 2016 Privatization

Posted February 13, 2015 at 11:56 am

Interior Health, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, recently announced that it’s taking steps to privatize laundry services, despite opposition from the Hospital Employees Union (HEU). After a mandatory 90-day consultation with HEU, part of the collective bargaining agreement, Interior Health put out a bid, called a “request for solutions,” from pre-qualified providers. The privatization, though not immediate, is expected to impact up to 25 employees in hospitals and residential health centers, according to a local news report.

The process, says the health authority, will allow it to avoid significant spending to replace aging equipment. Currently, Interior Health spends about $10 million a year to operate the laundry service. Replacement costs are expected to reach $10.5 million over the next several years. Interior Health acknowledges the potential impact on the community. "We know this is difficult news for our employees who have worked hard to make our laundry plants efficient,” says Alan Davies, Interior Health’s director for support services. But he adds, “This is an investment we can’t make when considering other healthcare medical-equipment priorities.”

Union opposition to privatization thwarted a similar effort a decade ago, the article said. For more, click here.