HSA fears leaked details on privatization only the beginning

The union that represents more than 10,000 health science professionals across the province is concerned that the Liberals plan to privatize $700 million in health care service is only the beginning.

Responding to a leaked budget document revealed Monday by the Hospital Employees Union, the Health Science Association of BC warns that many direct services to patients are also under threat.

"Despite their repeated promises to 'put patients first', this document confirms that the Liberals are forging ahead with a plan that, in reality, puts patients dead last," says HSA president Cindy Stewart. "The public has reason to be very concerned when the government's own advisors are warning that patient care is going to be jeopardized."

Stewart points out that while the current privatization scheme targets support services such as housekeeping and food services, the Liberals have passed regulations that allow them to also privatize hundreds of direct services to patients such as respiratory therapy, physiotherapy, social work and nutrition services.

"This document confirms that the government is planning to balance its books on the backs of middle-income families and seniors," Stewart says. "If this government is willing to jeopardize patient safety by cutting the ambulance service, gutting Pharmacare and increasing waiting lists, it is reasonable to conclude that all direct services to patients are at risk."