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Contractors with the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Coastal health authorities are facing allegations of understaffing and inadequate training. Whistleblowers at the hospitals warn that the privateers cost-cutting strategies dont meet regional cleanliness standards, putting patients and workers in danger.

Multinationals Aramark and Sodexho secured five-year contracts with the promise they would save each of the authorities $10 to $13 million annually. But the privateers cut costs by slashing jobs and wages. Insufficient training and understaffing have resulted in no time to sweep up bloody gauze and debris. A housekeeper was found wiping down the serving table after using the same cloth to clean the toilet in a patients room.

Privatization opponents blame Bill 29 for the problem. The legislation, passed by the British Columbia government, allows health authorities to fire unionized workers and contract out hospital support services.