Interior Health reviewing laundry services decision

New CEO reviewing decision to outsource laundry service to Lower Mainland.

After raising the issue of outsourcing hospital laundry services, Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt is encouraged by a recent statement from the incoming new CEO of Interior Health.

Pratt has raised the issue at Regional District of East Kootenay board meetings over the last few months, concerned about the loss of jobs from Interior Health’s plan to outsource the laundry contract to the Lower Mainland.

However, incoming Interior Health CEO Chris Mazurkewich released a statement on Wednesday noting that he would like to review the decision.

“I plan to take additional time in reviewing the future of our laundry services,” Mazurkewich said in a press release. “Subsequently, a decision on the possibility of outsourcing the service will not occur until at least March 2016 when recommendations are presented to the IH Board of Directors for its consideration.

“This process has taken, unfortunately, longer than anyone anticipated, and I want to take the time to understand all of the complexities around this significant issue. I know that this may be frustrating to many of those who are anticipating a decision soon, and I appreciate the impact on our staff for the length of this process.”

Currently, most of the laundry services are out of Nelson in the West Kootenay, however, Interior Health recently noted that there needs to be significant capital upgrades to the equipment, which is why the contract was tendered out.

Pratt raised the issue at the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention in September when meeting with government officials, but didn’t think much of an impression was made.

“I felt when I came back from UBCM, I met with the existing CEO of IHA and I didn’t think that went anywhere,” Pratt said. “Then I met with the Minister of Health after that and I thought it was basically kind of the same thing.”

However, Mazurkewich’s statement is a sign that maybe IHA is reconsidering their decision, added Pratt.

“I’m encouraged that they’re going to look at a review on it and what I would like to see is them re-tender it and with the re-tendering, give local people—I don’t just mean in Cranbrook—but local people in IHA’s area, a chance to bid on it,” Pratt said.

In order to bid on the contract, a service provider must have a line of credit of $15 million, which is a pretty steep financial commitment, said Pratt, who raised the point in August at a KERHB meeting.

Keeping the laundry service local also prevents any transportation issues that may arise if the highways—especially in the mountain passes—are shut down because of adverse weather conditions or traffic accidents.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read