Saskatchewan is planning to expand its privatization of hospital surgeries.
In January, the Saskatoon Health Region issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a third party to do pediatric dental procedures, cataracts, and certain nose procedures for a three-year term with another two-year option. It also wants to continue contracting out knee arthroscopies, shoulder arthroscopies and anterior cruciate ligament repairs which it did with Saskatoon Surgicentre last fall.
At the same time, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region also issued a RFP for the provision of ear, nose and throat, as well as gynecological, orthopedic and dental procedures from this fall to the end of 2013. It also plans to extend a contract it already has with Omni Surgery Centre in Regina to provide dental surgery and knee arthroscopy procedures. Last week, the region signed a 32-month contract for 42,500 CT scans to be done by a private clinic.
Privatizers sometimes claim they will only contract out support services, and not clinical services. Obviously that is going out the window.
CUPE grieved a recent move to contract out surgeries in Saskatchewan and won a ruling that the surgeries would have to be brought back in house by the end of 2013. These proposals may be consistent with that time frame.