For Immediate Release
13 December, 2023
NDP MHA Jordan Brown (Labrador West), is requesting the Auditor General conduct a performance audit of Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services (NLHS) and its predecessors, the Regional Health Authorities and Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information. The ask comes after news that the province intends to privatize air ambulance services. Media articles continue to reveal that the use of for-profit nursing agencies cost the province $18.4 million per year compared with $4.1 million had government employed nurses already in the public system.
“Specifically, I ask that you investigate their use of contracts with third parties for the provision of services, to determine whether the NLHS and its predecessors:
a) Spent responsibly on such contracts;
b) Whether the arrangements agreed to were cost-effective; and
c) Whether contracted services could have reasonably been provided in-house by government departments or Crown corporations,” asked Brown. “I fear that the decision to contract out the management of an integrated provincial ambulance and air services will result in higher costs to the tax payer,” said Brown.
“I wonder why government lacks the in-house capacity to oversee such a transition or manage the integrated system once it’s in operation.”
The NDP questions government’s choice to continue to outsourcing contracts for provincial health services.
“Given the enormous strains that our healthcare system is currently facing, I am concerned that government is rushing to fill the gaps without a coherent plan,” Brown stated. “In doing so, government could be spending more than necessary and opening up the public system to creeping privatization that will ultimately erode its effectiveness and universality.”
A transcript of the letter sent to the Auditor General can be found here: https://www.nl.ndp.ca/post/letter-from-brown-to-ag-requesting-an-investigation-into-private-contracts-in-health-care
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or firstname.lastname@example.org