More food service workers are returning to Island Health hospitals on Vancouver Island.
The workers come back to hospitals after many services offered had been contracted to private companies for over 20 years, according to the health authority.
Another 170 workers will be added to south Island hospitals on Feb. 18, for a total of 405 workers repatriated.
The process began in North Island hospitals after the B.C. government brought in Bill 47 in 2019. It repealed two pieces of legislation, the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement and the Health Sector Partnerships agreement.
The two agreements facilitated contracting out workers in the health sector, which the government says had significant labour consequences.
Minister of Health Adrian Dix says the new workers are improving conditions for patients in Island hospitals.
“Island Health is leading the way, first with the two North Island Hospital campuses in 2020, next with six long-term care sites in the South Island last November, and now with this third wave of bringing workers back in-house,” said Dix. “We have seen how important Bill 47 is to workers and to patients.”
Since then, 70 transitioned in 2020 to North Island Campus and Campbell River District, 80 to Comox Valley General Hospital and 150 housekeeping workers to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
Cowichan District Hospital saw another 26 workers move into housekeeping.
The province is planning to add 4,000 workers back in-house with the bill over the next two years, starting with Island Health.