Health network CEO's concerns over food, cleaning, portering privatization dismissed by Premier

New Brunswick's Premier is shrugging off concerns by the Vitality Health Network over the privatizing food, portering and cleaning services in hospitals.

Vitalite CEO Gilles Lanteigne argues the patient experience could suffer as a result and that the network submitted a proposal last year saying it could save the government more money than Sodexo, the multi-national company set to take over those services.

But Brian Gallant says a savings of 7.9 million dollars is guaranteed by Sodexo's proposal and that the savings can be invested in the priorities of New Brunswickers.

The changeover in management is expected to result in 280 layoffs.

Gallant says the majority of workers are expected maintain their positions under Sodexo while others will hopefully find jobs elsewhere in the system.

(with files from the Daily Gleaner)