Interior hospitals could be moving even closer to privatized laundry services.
The Interior Health Authority is entering the next stage of a process that will determine the future of its laundry services, by seeking request for solutions from pre-qualified service providers.
“We know this is difficult news for our employees who have worked hard to make our laundry plants efficient,” said Alan Davies, director for support services.
“But as we’ve noted from the outset, the decision to explore alternatives isn’t about the efficiency of our operations. It’s about avoiding future significant spending to replace aging equipment, an investment we can’t make when considering other health-care medical equipment priorities.”
IHA currently has five large and six small laundry sites with 175 employees. In Vernon, there are 15 full-time equivalent staff.
The RFS will determine what options may be available for using external providers for laundry services.
Laundry services staff have been provided an update about the situation , which follows 90-days of consultation with their union to explore alternatives to going to the private market.
“We have stressed to our employees that nothing is changing today. We have a lengthy process in front of us, and the earliest we would anticipate any changes to laundry services would be spring 2016,” said Davies.
He added that the impact to staff is unknown and dependent on the outcome of the RFS, including the scope of laundry services and sites covered.