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Central Okanagan  

IH airing dirty laundry

Interior Health has announced they may soon contract out their laundry services, due to higher costs and aging infrastructure.

No decisions have been made at this point, but IH says they have begun to look at other options.

“In order for Interior Health to have the most sustainable laundry operation moving forward in the future, we’re going to be looking at doing a review to see what options are available for us, and one of those options may be looking to the private market to see what services they can provide,” says Lori Holloway, Regional Director Facilities Management and Operations .

“Currently Interior Health spends about $10 million per year on its laundry operation. However we know our equipment and infrastructure is aging, and as a result, it’s going to require significant capital investment in the next few years.”

IH currently operates 11 laundry sites and employs 175 people on a full-time, part-time and casual basis. They have previously looked into other laundry options in the past, but decided that an in-house service made the most sense, but that is no longer the case.

“It’s important to note that as of today, nothing is happening, we’re going to be doing a review and work with our union and our staff over the next several months,” says Holloway.

“At this point in time, we need to be clear with the staff that it’s early in the process, it’s a lengthy process, and we know this is difficult news for them.”

IH says the primary reason for considering other options has to do with the current state of the laundry facilities. These plants are aging and in need of modernization, but money is limited and they say patient care needs like medical equipment is of a higher priority at this time.

If you believe you could be affected by these possible changes, please contact Castanet to share your story.

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