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Government communication folks should communicate, not create confusion

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – As we reported yesterday, Nova Scotia Health intends to outsource the jobs of 91 civil servants working in health records management across the province. 

Shortly after publication we were contacted by Health Nova Scotia. The decision to outsource has not yet been made, we’re merely “exploring” it, wrote Carla Adams, a Nova Scotia Health spokesperson.

What’s more, the article, and the unions’ press release, was actually doing damage, wrote Adams. “A release issued by the unions suggesting 91 jobs will be lost is inaccurate and may cause undue stress to our employees,” the email states.

Only being explored? Undue stress?

This is what Linda Plummer, director, IM/IT Health Information Services, wrote in a memo to the affected workers on December 11.

“Following a thorough review of our current situation and alternatives, a decision has been made to shift our scanning and archiving service to an external vendor.”

“As a member of our Health Records team, you will be directly affected by this change. The  impacted staff are in roles pertaining to health records clerical (e.g. Clerk typist, Clerk B,  Health Record clerk, Health Information clerk).”

“In spring 2021, all local  scanning will stop at local sites and be couriered to Halifax where the vendor is located. The  vendor will begin scanning documents at this time.”

I asked Nova Scotia Health how to reconcile the text of this memo with their earlier email. And how would the union’s statements create more stress than the attached memo addressed to these very same employees? It’s not pussyfooting around. A decision has been made. All local scanning will stop.

“I’m sorry but we can’t share anything further except to say that we stand by our statement and want to reassure our employees that we are making every effort to ensure that no jobs are lost,” Adams replied.

91 jobs will be lost. Some people will retire, some will find another job with Nova Scotia Health. Some may end up working for Iron Mountain. But these 91 jobs are gone. 

See also: 90+ hospital employees see their jobs disappear as Nova Scotia Health outsources its health records management services

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One Comment

  1. Iron Mountain likely pays its staff a paltry hourly rate, nowhere near $22 an hour. Employees who don’t earn much and have few benefits tend to come and go.
    That said, how can any private company guarantee the security of health records and scans? Breaches of security have been seen lately in many corporate (and government) settings.
    If NS health has established employees, most of whom spend years in health records, the health authority can more easily track breaches and prevent scans and records going missing.

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