BC: Privatized hospital cleaning a failure
Health and Safety reprimands, public complaints dog multinational contractor.
NANAIMO, January 13, 2009 — Again, we are faced with the ugly reality that privatizing cleaning at Vancouver Island hospitals has been a dismal failure.
For nearly a year now, the Nanaimo Daily News has been documenting the continuing problem of inadequate cleaning at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital that many people find unpalatable and unacceptable. We've spoken with cleaners who say they've been told to do a less-than-thorough job in order to meet deadlines. They've told us that the poverty wages are not attracting people interested in doing the job well, and even those who want to work hard get little or no training.
We have also heard from the public. Patients and visitors alike have been shocked by things like excreta left in uncleaned bathrooms, incomplete cleaning of beds and floors neither swept nor mopped in some time.
But this problem is not about the cleaners. As with any workplace, there are those who work hard and care about what they do and a small number who don't. This is a pyramidal problem with the provincial government at the top, the Vancouver Island Health Authority in one corner and the multinational Compass Group in the other corner.
The latest news about Compass is that they have received 16 health and safety orders from WorkSafe BC, nine at NRGH (Nanaimo Regional General Hospital) and seven at the Cowichan District Hospital in Duncan. While it appears that Compass has complied with all the orders, in light of other information we know about how Compass operates — the low wages, lack of training, complaints from the public — it's time for the public to let this government know that this cannot continue. . .
To read further. . .
Privatization vs. Public Values Frame
Private contractors will do the job cheap / Hospital employees will do the job properly
Links and sources
Privatized hospital cleaning a failure, by Paul Walton, Victoria Times Colonist, January 13, 2009
Posted: January 14, 2009
Voices of privatization
Public Values (PublicValues.ca) is a project of the Golden Lake Institute and the online publication StraightGoods.ca