Government of Saskatchewan reviews huge range of health care services, considering privatization.
Regina (24 Sept. 2013) - Bargaining continues for health provider members of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE). In November 2012, SGEU/NUPGE concluded bargaining SGEU-specific articles but the other unions involved in negotiations - the Canadian Union of Public and General Employees (CUPE) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU-West) - continued to bargain until just recently. They have now also concluded their union-specific articles.
The next step is to join together with CUPE and SEIU-West to bargain outstanding monetary items and issues that unions or the employer have identified as relevant to all health providers. These include issues such as a general wage increase, work-related premiums, such as shift/weekend differentials and recruitment/retention issues.
The Ministry of Health has since requested that coalition bargaining be postponed so that the Ministry, the employers and the three unions could continue discussions on a partnership agreement. The expectation is that a partnership agreement would expedite the bargaining process as well.
Government review of health care services to delay further bargaining
The government has undertaken a review of a number of health care services currently provided within our health care system. The 3sHealth has been tasked by the regional health authorities and Government of Saskatchewan to review a number of service lines. The process, involving Visioning Sessions, includes developing a business case. The purpose of this business case is to show value and efficiency and determine if that service can be more efficiently provided for in another manner. The business case options include:
- contracting out the service to a private provider
- having a private/public provision of services agreement
- 3sHealth providing the service
- leaving the service as it is
- having the service provided by just one or two of the regional health authorities.
Major health care services being considered
The service lines that are being reviewed are as follows:
- Information Technology/Information Management Services
- Capital Projects
- Diagnostic Imaging Services
- Enterprise Risk Management
- Environmental Services
- Facility Services including:
- Biomedical equipment
- Protective services
- Food Services
- Laboratory Services
- Transcription Services
- Pharmacy Services
- Supply Chain Services
This review is the same process that was applied to the provincial laundry service, which is now being contracted out to an out-of-province company known as K-Bro.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE