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CUPE 1999 president Joanne Wilson has an opinon piece in Oct. 29’s Toronto Star about the role of hospital cleaning in the battle against contagion and diseases like SARS.

Wilson, a cleaner at Lakeridge Health Centre in Oshawa points out that cheap cleaning won’t control the spread of superbugs like C. difficile and MRSA.

She writes:

Smitherman may not be aware of it, but cleaning a hospital is a little different than cleaning a bank. It’s this obtuse thinking that poses a hazard to Ontario patients.

For example, to clean a room of a SARS patient, hospital cleaners had to “terminally” clean the room twice. Each cleaning takes 85 minutes. The cleaner must put on and take off masks, gown, and gloves in a specific order. Failure to do this correctly will mean infection and possibly death.

Who would be willing to do this work for $9 an hour, while placing themselves at risk?

Read the whole article