Private management of food, portering and cleaning a bad move: Vitalite CEO says

Vitalite Health Network's top official says the provincial government's decision to privatize food, portering and cleaning services is being forced on the network and that it could have a negative impact on the patient experience.

New Brunswick's Health Minister has said handing responsibility for those services over to multi-national food and facilities management company Sodexo would result in an overall savings of $7.9 million.

But Vitalite CEO Gilles Lanteigne says a proposal the network submitted to the health department last year suggests more efficiencies and savings than with Sodexo, to the tune of $3.5 million more over a ten year period.

Lanteigne says patient surveys indicate a high patient satisfaction for food and that infection rates are lower than national standards.

The changeover is expected to result in 280 layoffs.

(with files from the Daily Gleaner)