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(St. John’s) At its provincial Executive Board meeting this weekend, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador put a plan in motion to force both levels of government to implement the Romanow report, while protecting patient services from privatization.

CUPE’s Wayne Lucas says, Watching the health ministers’ meeting this past weekend you’d think that Romanow hadn’t even happened. It was very disheartening. These people don’t get it. Canadians have made it clear - it’s Romanow, stupid!

CUPE will be launching a two-pronged approach over the coming months to make sure the 47 recommendations contained in the Romanow report are carried forward.

Romanow has said the future of our precious Medicare system is now in the hands of Canadians. We’re going to give them the opportunity to act on that, says Lucas.

The CUPE president also points out, however, that there’s one major area of concern in Romanow’s report. The commissioner left open the door to privatization of key patient services in hospital settings. This could include things like dietary, laundry, cleaning and maintenance services.

Canadians understand that a sterile operating room, clean laundry and nutritious food are absolutely critical to patient health. Handing these services over to big business makes no more sense than privatizing clinical care, says Lucas.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians need to let their federal and provincial politicians know that we are demanding they finally take action, he adds.

For information:

Wayne Lucas, President, CUPE Newfoundland & Labrador, (709) 727-2509 (Cell)

John McCracken, CUPE Communications Representative, (902) 455-4180 (o)