AHS asks outside vendors to bid on cafeteria, retail food work currently handled in-house

  • Edmonton Journal
  • 14 Jan 2022
  • KELLEN TANIGUCHI ktaniguchi@postmedia.com Twitter.com/ kellentaniguchi

Alberta Health Services (AHS) issued a request for proposals on Thursday looking for third-party providers to handle cafeteria and retail food service outlets currently being provided in-house at its facilities.

AHS said 40 per cent of its ancillary retail food services are already contracted to third parties.

The University of Alberta Hospital, the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Glenrose Rehabilitation Centre are the facilities in Edmonton that will make the transition to a third party as part of the request for proposals.

“The revenue generated at retail food service outlets does not cover their operating costs, so AHS is subsidizing these services using finite health-care dollars,” Dr. Verna Yiu, AHS president and chief executive, said in a news release.

“Contracting out retail food services could provide $3 million per year in revenue that will be used to support core clinical services.”

In Calgary, the Peter Lougheed Centre, Rockyview General Hospital,

Foothills Medical Centre, Alberta Children’s Hospital and Richmond Road Diagnostic and Treatment Centre are part of the request for proposals.

The transition will impact around 240 full-time, part-time and casual employees, said AHS, adding that it is committed to working with these employees and their union throughout the process.

AHS said it anticipates there will be opportunities for employment with the selected vendors.

AHS is expecting the process to take about four months, which will include a full review of all proposals received. The timeline for the implementation of the third party service will depend on the successful applicant, or applicants, selected.

“Throughout the RFP process, AHS is providing all potential vendors with a fair and transparent process to share proposals for the provision of ancillary retail food services at sites where services are currently being provided in-house,” said Mauro Chies, vice-president of Cancer Care Alberta and Clinical Support Services. “Throughout the process, AHS will ensure that decisions are made with quality in mind.”