Outsourcing cuts is worst possible way to add profit motive to healthcare: Coffin




For Immediate Release

March 3rd, 2021



NDP Leader Alison Coffin is appalled to learn a secret government contract gives an US company financial incentives to cut healthcare services in the provinces. News today revealed Newfoundland and Labrador’s four health authorities have contracted B.C.-based Change Healthcare Canada (a subsidiary of US-owned Change Healthcare) to take over staff scheduling and otherwise implement “improved operational efficiency.”


“If this was good news for our hospitals, clinics, and long-term care homes, you can bet the Liberals wouldn’t have kept this a secret,” said Coffin. “The Liberals signed a secret agreement with a US-based consultant whose sole deliverable is to implement cuts. If those cuts aren’t implemented, the province still has to pay $5 Million in penalties.


“I want to know who could possibly have thought this was in the best interests of the people of the province who depend on access to healthcare.”


Change Healthcare’s agreement will see the province send health system data to the corporation, which will then make recommendations on staffing levels, and patient discharge. If the company finds $70 million in cuts, it receives $35 Million in profit. Coffin suspects drastic changes will be implemented, leaving the province beholden to this corporation’s software in perpetuity, while we are still waiting to see what recommendations are coming from the Economic Recovery Team and Health Accord NL reports.


“We’re handing over our healthcare data to a for-profit company to direct staffing at our regional health authorities. Why couldn’t we have done this work within the province with the findings of Health Accord NL? What was the point of bringing together that team if we’re outsourcing decision making to a US company?” Coffin asked today.


“This is yet another example of Andrew Furey and the Liberals not being upfront and honest with the people of the province, and they show no signs of changing.”

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For information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, e-mail eddy.stcoeur@nl.ndp.ca, ph/t 709-697-5363.