Hospital laundry services was on the mind of Cranbrook mayor Lee Pratt at the recent meeting of the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District meeting last week.
Back in February, in order to avoid spending to upgrade aging equipment, Interior Health initiated a Request for Solutions from pre-qualified service providers.
Laundry services at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital have now been outsourced outside the region, according to Pratt.
The Cranbrook mayor notes that there is a local company that is capable of handling laundry services, and wants Interior Health to look at keeping the contract within the city.
“My feeling is that the hospital here collects taxes here and there is a venture right now in town that can handle the laundry for the hospital and they’re willing to put up some money and reinvest in some equipment and that and possibly do all of IHA,” said Pratt.
“The feeling is that the way the tender’s been done, the door is basically closed on them and I’m wondering if there’s something else we can do—I don’t know if it’s the government that sets the rules up on that or not…”
Pratt was directing his comments towards Todd Mastel, Director, Business Support for Interior Health, who was present to provide an update on the status of the new Intensive Care Unit construction.
Mastel noted that the contract was part of a provincial RFP [Request for Proposal] with Interior Health and health authorities in the Lower Mainland.
“The strategy behind that was to try to find best value and the lowest price in terms of the laundry services for the province,” said Mastel. “Laundry is expensive, it’s capital intensive and really, we’re looking to direct as much of our resources that come to us, towards patient care.”
KERHD board chair Dean McKerracher noted that the issue was probably one to take up with Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett and the Ministry of Health.
“I understand that you’re trying to save money and we’d probably do the same if we could, but at the same token, like you, I’d like to see it local as well,” said McKerracher.