Stupid, stupid, stupid. (HT: Free Northerner)
When the Tim Hortons at Newfoundland’s Health Sciences Centre opened in 1995, the hospital’s administrator predicted the shop would turn an annual profit of up to $300,000 and pay for seven nurses — or 11 support staff, or maybe even pay for the increase in chemotherapy drugs for cancer patients.
Instead, the coffee shop at the St. John’s hospital lost about $260,000 last year, offering what critics say is a cautionary tale of what can happen when the public sector gets involved in things better done by private enterprise.
On Tuesday, the Eastern Health authority announced it would turn the location squarely over to the private sector, where the average Tim’s owner reportedly rakes in $265,000 in profits.
“Let me tell you why [the hospital franchise loses money],” Vickie Kaminski, the authority’s president and CEO, told reporters on Tuesday. “We charge you a buck-ninety-four for that large coffee, but we insist that the staff who are pouring the coffee are Eastern Health staff, and they get paid $28 an hour. No Tim Hortons pays that.”
So, the store lost roughly as much money last year, as the profit a typical Timmy’s owner MAKES in a year.
“Somehow it became public employees running a doughnut shop,” said Lloyd Matthews, who was Newfoundland’s health minister when the location opened at the Health Sciences Centre in 1995. “It brings us all home to the issue of waste in health care …. [It] makes us all a little interested in where else money is being wasted.”
Doesn’t it, just?