Skip to main content

One nurse's experience with privatized food: if it ain't in the contract...watch out

Here is an account sent to me by an Ontario nurse of her experience with contracted out support services in her hospital.  I've removed the name of the company. 

"I just learned that  if something is not mentioned in the (company) contract, the company does not have to do it.  

"In our hospital, patients transported from outside the community will have a single escort with them.  There is a hostel that houses and provides meals for escorts.    When we get a sick child usually only one escort comes with them.   The escort stays in the room with the child and we would provide the escort with a meal tray.   

"Recently (the company) put a stop to it and said they would only supply trays to escorts of children 1 year old or less.  The other escorts would have to go to the hostel to either eat or get a meal ticket, everyday.  As nurses we could not believe an escort of a 2 year old would be made to leave the hospital to either eat or get a meal ticket and go to the hospital cafeteria.  We did not feel this was safe for the child left behind alone.  When we took our concerns to our nurse manager, he said (the company) could do that, if it is not in the contract.  

"We replied, (the company) works for the hospital and the hospital should make them do it.  He made it clear  (the company) does not work for the hospital, they are contracted to provide management services, they do not answer to the hospital.  He did say it was something that could be looked at when the contract was up for renewal.  For us that was not good enough.

"Subsequently, we were able to get meals once again delivered to the escorts, but we had to make it a political issue just to achieve safe, responsible care. 

The nurse goes on to note that she is particularly concerned because a "political party running in Ontario in our next election wants to contract out support services."

Indeed.  

Comments

  1. What bothers me the most about this (besides the immediate context) is that this shouldn't even be a "left-wing" thing -- this is more of a "this is stupid and ill thought-out" thing. I consider myself a moderate -- I often land on the left-wing side on issues, but not always. More and more, though, it seems to be less and less about left or right and more and more about logical versus illogical, humane versus inhumane. Whether or not an escort requires a meal has nothing to do with how old the child they are escorting is. The policy makes no sense from the get-go. Technically, it could happen in a non-outsourced situation too, but the main thing is that the letter of a contract are being put above logic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah -- this shouldn't be a left-wing/right wing thing. But I do think it is going to be hard to avoid in a contacting out situation...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  New research indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed compared to the other provinces. 
LTC staffing falls short:  The latest data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. 
Part of this is driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.





Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 


No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…