LETTER: Laundry move doesn’t add up

Reader says laundry privatization will export jobs.

Re: Interior Health closer to privatizing laundry services in Nelson

As alternate director for RDCK Area E I toured Kootenay Lake Hospital Feb. 25 before the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional District Hospital Board meeting.

A plant supervisor took us through the laundry. He told us the equipment was good for another 11 years. Yet the IHA’s press release quoted in the Feb. 13 Nelson Star said privatizing would “avoid significant capital costs associated with replacing industrial laundry equipment.”

These two statements clearly don’t jibe. Interior Health (along with Vancouver’s Coastal Health) wants to contract out all its 15 regional laundries to a single corporation, so it appears that Kootenay Lake Hospital’s laundry is being sacrificed because some bigger Interior Health laundry needs new equipment the health authority has not budgeted for.

Interior Health has confirmed no business in the BC interior is capable of handling this amount of hospital laundry, so the contract will go to the Lower Mainland, exporting over a hundred jobs out of our rural area. In addition to more trucks and drivers, this will cost the contractor more gas and cause both more road repairs and more pollution and global warming. How can this save us money?

Private companies pay higher insurance costs and higher interest rates on borrowed funds than government entities. In addition they need to make a profit. How can this save taxpayers’ money?

The only answer I see is to pay the workers less, and perhaps have fewer workers. This usually leads to high turnover, which means fewer trained workers. Infection control in hospitals is a very serious business. Laundries are one of the keys. Are we risking our residents’ health by implementing this contracting out?

Pegasis McGauley


Just Posted

Pacific Insight to close in April

The remaining employees at the Nelson automotive manufacturing facility to be laid off

Free naloxone kits, training offered in Nelson

The sessions run Jan. 17 and 24, 1 p.m. at the Salvation Army

Nominations open for Nelson’s Citizen of the Year

Recent winners include Kim Charlesworth and Helen Jameson

Nelson Hydro to increase urban rates 1.5 per cent, rural 2.94 per cent

Much of the increase will go to vegetation management

Leafs add 2 players at KIJHL trade deadline

Nelson also traded defenceman Tyson Soobotin to Castlegar

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Most Read