Cancellation of further contracting-out of hospital laundry services is a welcome step in the right direction, says Friends of Medicare group

Friends of Medicare
News release

Friends of Medicare is extremely pleased that Minister Hoffman and AHS have turned a significant corner in reversing the privatization agenda of previous governments.

“Under Klein and successive PC governments, contracting-out to a private corporation became a cure-all aimed at reducing costs, and it most often came at the expense of patient care and staff,” indicated Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.

In Alberta, privatization of the health care system has taken many forms.

Hiring for-profit firms to provide the laundry, housekeeping, food, and other services within publicly funded institutions allowed previous governments to lay the foundation for privatization by stealth.The under-funding and neglect of this sector was used as an excuse to rationalize the application of market principles as they transfer services from the public to the private sector.

“When officials turn to private firms to serve the public on the cheap, hidden costs eventually surface in the form of mismanagement and poor quality of services,” states Azocar.

While we recognize that there will be upfront costs required to improve the current laundry facilities in Hospitals, we are encouraged to see a government that is willing to set aside short-sighted solutions to long-term problems.

About the Friends of Medicare

Friends of Medicare was incorporated as a non-profit society in Edmonton, Alberta in September 1979 in response to mounting threats to Medicare.

At that time, it called upon the federal and provincial governments to live up to the commitments they made in the original Medicare legislation, the Canada Health Act.

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