IHA further delays decision on privatizing hospital laundry services

November 25, 2015 News Release from the Hospital Employees Union:

Yesterday’s announcement by Interior Health Authority (IHA) chief executive officer Chris Mazurkewich that a decision on contracting out hospital laundry services has been further delayed until March is welcome news, says the Hospital Employees’ Union.

“We’re pleased that under new leadership, the IHA is taking a serious look at the plans for hospital laundries,” says HEU secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside. “So far, we have not seen any valid justification for the health authority to forge ahead with contracting out this efficient, publicly delivered service.”

Since announcing last year that it would seek bids from the private sector to take over all or part of its laundry operations at five major hospitals in Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops, Penticton and Nelson, along with services in six smaller communities, IHA has delayed its decision several times. Continue reading

New Interior Health CEO visits Princeton

Board Chair Erwin Malzer (left) congratulating Chris Mazurkewich on his appointment as the new CEO of Interior Health

In his new role as CEO of Interior Health, Chris Mazurkewich is “making the rounds”, visiting the communities that are in his jurisdiction. He made Princeton one of his first visits this past Tuesday, November 23rd. Edward Staples, SOHC President, attended one of the information gathering meetings, congratulating the CEO on his appointment and welcoming him to Princeton on behalf of the SOHC membership.

Staples had an opportunity to make a presentation that included a brief history of SOHC’s involvement in health care issues over the past three and a half years. He emphasized the collaborative relationship that has developed between IH and our community, recognizing the leadership provided by Susan Brown, CIHS Administrator for Princeton. He also indicated that the main health care concern that Princeton and Area residents face is one of access, specifically relating to transportation issues and availability of practitioners.

IH Board Chair, Erwin Malzer, thanked everyone for participating in the meeting and acknowledged the progress that our community has made in improving our health care model, calling Princeton the “poster child” of rural communities in Interior Health.

SOHC Annual General Meeting 2015

SOHC Executive - Nov 2015 v2

The Annual General Meeting of the Support Our Health Care Society of Princeton was held on Thursday, November 19 at Riverside Community Centre. Secretary Nienke Klaver read the Minutes from the 2014 AGM and Ole Juul presented our financial report. Both were accepted on motions by those present. President Edward Staples gave a presentation on the Year in Review, summarizing the many activities and accomplishments of the organization in the 2014-15 term of office. Jon Bartlett conducted the election of the new Executive which resulted in the following:

  • President – Edward Staples
  • Vice President – Bill Day
  • Secretary – Nienke Klaver
  • Treasurer – Ole Juul
  • Director – Lynn Wells
  • Director – Keith Olsen
  • Director – John Akerley

Edward Staples congratulated the newly elected Executive and gave a report on the 2015-16 Priorities. Jon Bartlett, on behalf of the SOHC membership, commended the Executive for their work over the past year and wished the new Board a successful year ahead.


Federal Minister of Health – Mandate Letter from PM Trudeau

Health Minster Jane Philpott with her husband, Pep, and two daughters, Bethany and Lydia.

In keeping with his promise to make government more accountable and transparent, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has shared his Ministers’ Mandate Letters with the public. The following is an excerpt from his letter to the Minister of Health:

As Minister of Health, your overarching goal will be to strengthen our publicly-funded universal health care system and ensure that it adapts to new challenges. Healthcare across Canada is changing at a rapid pace to keep up with the changing needs of an aging population and advances in health technology. The federal government must be an essential partner in improving outcomes and quality of care for Canadians. I expect you to work with provincial and territorial governments to support them in their efforts to make home care more available, prescription drugs more affordable, and mental health care more accessible. When Canadians are in good physical and mental health, they are able to work better, be more productive, and contribute more fully to our economy while living healthier, happier lives. Our health care system provides Canadians with peace of mind, but we need to make the investments necessary to ensure it can continue to evolve and innovate. 

In particular, I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes to deliver on your top priorities:

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