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College ends bid to outsource health services

Algonquin has reversed a proposal to outsource health services and will be keeping the current health service system.

“The decision to stay keeps things status quo. Same time of operating hours, a similar cost to the college and hopefully the same type of student fees, but we will have to see our way through that,” Laura Stanbra, vice president of student services.

Algonquin is not currently looking for an external health services provider, but the door will remain open to all opportunities.

“Never say never. I feel we can put this to rest now. We will always be open to all opportunities, but we are not out there actively seeking new opportunities,” said Stanbra.

Algonquin’s president Cheryl Jensen, during a recent talk with first-year journalism students, said the proposal didn’t meet the conditions of the college that would make the transition necessary.

“We did investigate going to a private provider of health services. We had stringent conditions in our request for proposals, and after reviewing the submission. The provider didn’t meet all the conditions in the RFP (request for proposal), so we didn’t take it,” said Jensen.

The Algonquin Students Association agrees with the decision.

“The person that applied for the RFP, they felt they weren’t living up to the needs and services that the college is looking for and I support that,” said Deijanelle Simon, SA president.

For the past eight years, the college has been looking for an external health services provider. During that duration, there has been an acting manager of health services. The college will be converting the position into a full-time job.

“Throughout the process, as we were trying to make a decision and then when we formally made a decision, we weren’t going to select someone. The health services team knew privately before the rest of the college knew,” said Stanbra.

There are no financial implications to the college for its decision to keep the current health service system as the college didn’t sign any contracts with an external provider.

“We always said we would search, but if we don’t find the right mix, we won’t go forward. We were looking for a financially sustainable model. From the proposal, we got we wouldn’t obtain that,” said Stanbra.

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