5/31/10

Shared Services Organizations

In recent years, the Ontario government has encouraged the creation of regionally based, shared service corporations to provide some support services for hospitals.  Similar shared service organizations are now being created in other provinces.

In Saskatchewan a report by the consulting firm Deloitte recommended the establishment of a provincial shared services organization.  As is typical, they advocated an immediate start with supply chain management and procurement.  But they also advocated a later move into human resources and finance and then into other support services such as laundry and housekeeping. 

In Ontario, the shared service organizations have focused on the supply chain and a few other fairly small aspects of hospital support services.  If they too move into housekeeping, dietary, maintenance, or other support services, it will have a significant impact on industrial relations and, potentially, on local jobs and services. 

The march towards the centralization of services goes on.  Is anyone in government concerned about the impact on smaller towns and cities? 

Judging by past attempts to centralize services (remember the HSRC? Or the Superjail?) it's not so certain that centralization will actually save any money.   Or improve quality (ever tried the food delivered to hospitals by centralized, for-profit factory kitchens?).

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