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Group finds hospital cafeterias lose over $2M a year

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One hospital in Manitoba has found a way to make money while some others continue to lose, according to a report by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The CTF obtained Freedom of Information data that shows government run hospital cafeterias lost $2.3 million in 2011-12 and $2.2 million in 2010-11. However, the CTF believes the Victoria General Hospital has found an appropriate model.

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After partnering with private business Aramark Canada, the Victoria General Hospital turned a $186,851 loss in 2011-12 into a $25,591 profit in 2012-13; an increase of $212,442.

"To save taxpayers money, more hospitals should follow Victoria General Hospital’s lead and look at partnering with businesses for cafeteria operations," said CTF Prairie Director Colin Craig. "Instead of losing money selling chocolate bars and sandwiches, the savings could have been used to help avoid the PST increase or pay for frontline services."

Heidi Graham, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority director of media relations, said the taxpayers’ money does not cover the losses of publically operated cafeterias in Manitoba. Profits are taken from other departments within the WRHA to cover costs.

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