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The threat of outsourcing to public health

The coronavirus pandemic forces us to realize that some of the most important workers in our society have been undervalued and underfunded for decades.If we use the words of Boris Johnson Fighting the Coronavirus” thanks to doctors, nurses, and hospital cleaners, who all play important and interdependent roles in our healthcare system. But the current model of managing services in most public sectors makes this impossible.

Cleaners are key workers on the front line in the fight against Covid-19. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson once said: Their work is extraordinary and deserves all the protection and support we give them in this difficult time. “But the current outsourcing system neither protects nor supports cleaners. Outsourced workers have low wages, overwork, and poor working conditions. This will have a negative impact on their ability to work effectively and severely affect the quality of cleaning. This in turn leads to hospitals. Increase in acquired infections.

In addition, the rate of Covid-19 infection among cleaners is the highest among all staff in the hospital—more than doctors and nurses working in emergency departments or intensive care units. Cleaning workers receiving statutory sick pay cannot self-quarantine without some form of financial punishment. Coupled with their increased likelihood of contracting the virus, this means that working conditions related to outsourcing may exacerbate the internal and external health of the virus. Hospital for external communication.

The evidence cited in this report shows that outsourced sanitation management services pose a threat to public health. This represents a major weakness in the UK’s ability to respond to the subsequent wave of Covid-19.

For public health considerations, this article recommends:

  • The government should launch an urgent and independent investigation into the outsourcing of key workers, including cleaners, to assess whether there is a link between outsourcing and higher infection rates, as shown in the literature.
  • As a pandemic prevention measure, all local authorities and NHS trust agencies should immediately evaluate the combination of their health care facility managers and sanitation workers, and study the opportunities for introducing them inside.

Photo: iStock

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