Contracting-out hospital transcription services. Shared service corporations expand scope

Hospital 'shared service corporations' are popping up all across Ontario to take over support services for Ontario hospitals.  Most of these are not-for-profit corporations owned by the area hospitals.  Sometimes the shared service corporation delivers the hospital support service, other times it contracts the service out for the hospital to a 3rd party. 

The main focus to date for the hospital shared service corporations  has been on the supply chain and back office services. The process has gotten a lot of cash support from the Ontario Ministry of Finance and the government has bragged about it as one of the main ways it is (allegedly) making  the public sector more efficient.  It's part of the centralization of hospital services.

The shared services corporations are now slowly increasing their reach into other areas of hospital work.

The latest development is that COPHA (a fairly new shared services corporation for hospitals in central Ontario) has overseen the contracting-out of transcription work for three central Ontario hospitals. The winning bidder for the contract is Accentus.

Accentus claims that they hire transcriptionists and that they “are 100% Canadian staffed and operated” (In Britain, some hospital transcription work went overseas, causing concern about the use of public dollars.)

The three hospitals affected to date are not CUPE hospitals.  But other COPHA hospitals are CUPE organized, and it’s possible COPHA may contract-out transcriptionist work of other hospitals in the future.

In any event, it sounds quite possible that other hospitals, or other hospital shared service corporations, may get in on contracting-out transcriptionist work. -- Doug



  1. budget wise yeah it is good and really help to many people to have a job in medical transcriptionist in that area.

  2. It is not good budget-wise for the in-hospital medical transcriptionists who were paid a living wage and had benefits and are out of a job, unless they work for Accentus and make $10/hour without benefits. This is from experience!

  3. I used to work for Accentus and it was horrid. You are given NO support whatsoever from supervisors or from IT. Training? Done on your own unpaid.

    What galled me is the fact that my earnings were below minimum wage - an average of about $6.00/hour. That is because Accentus frequently ran out of work (too many MTs hired), word expanders don't work with the Accentus platform, and computer issues were frequent.

    Yes, hospitals shave their budgets. But the Accentus MTs do not get any benefits and make nowhere near a living wage.

  4. Very interesting Tess. That I think will be the story for a lot of the privatization proposed for our hospitals.