If it happens in Ontario, is it happening here?

Okay everyone, hold on to your teeth. These two articles detail the pays and perks of Ontario hospital executives which have recently been made public. There’s little I need to add, except that what one executive gets another wants. If this is what Ontario administrators enjoy, are ours far behind?

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1109999–generous-perks-given-to-ontario-hospital-executives-contracts-reveal?bn=1

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/new-rules-push-ontario-hospitals-to-scrap-executive-perks/article2290677/

Health care administrators love to compare their incomes to the private sector. On October 4, 2011, the president of Capital Health, Chris Power, said on CBC Halifax’s Information Morning she didn’t feel that health care executive compensation is out-of-line with that paid by the private sector.

What she ignored is that when you work in the private sector you are accountable for your actions. You have to perform or you’re out the door. When has anyone in Nova Scotia health care administration been fired? In Truro the new hospital is $80 million over budget and a year behind schedule. Has anyone lost their job? In Halifax, Capital Health has gone from unloading ambulance patients within 20 minutes (something they achieved in 2005 and which is the provincial requirement) to 133 minutes in 2011. Capital Health says it will take them four years to get back to where they were six years ago and meet the provincial requirements! And at Capital Health only 48 percent of employees say they trust their employers. That doesn’t sound like performance that justifies private-sector-like pay.

Watch this space next Wednesday (January 11th) for new ideas on this topic.

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4 Responses to If it happens in Ontario, is it happening here?

  1. WOOF says:

    If you try to take away .05 cents from an administrator’s administrative budget it will be like Charlton Heston once said, “from my cold dead hands…”

    Their attitude, “If you want cuts … no problem … We’ll hire some consultants to do work that we’re paid to do, that way you can’t blame us, it was the consultant. But yes,we’ll cut … some poor soul working in the laundry or kitchen or sweeping floors. Now can you all say “BRAVO admins…again you’ve saved our health care system”.”

    You want new admins hired, well who do you think does the hiring: the admins. They control all thought in the system and anyone who thinks outside the box ain’t getting in this club.

    The Minister or Premier must do the chopping and hiring for any new ideas.

    Sometime in the future people are going to say, “why the hell didn’t people speak up and say or do something?”

  2. Gary MacLeod says:

    I spoke to a finance officer from Capital Health today. She told me that big cuts were coming and it involved getting rid of some of the top heavy administrative structure in lieu of some form of a public private partnership. I do not believe this is the answer. I do believe that the top heavy administrative structure should be cut but whatever they do it should not involve private enterprise. The health care system should remain solidly public. I believe the NDP will make the cuts at the public expense and involve private companies to take the place of government staff and then they will say they have cut the top heavy administrative structure. Hokus pokus, smoke and mirrors.

    • This is interesting because it’s so bloody typical of the health care system. They know that the public is terrified of a privatized system, so they resort to a type of bullying. Telling the public that privatization is coming is their way of bullying both the public and the politicians.

      We have a socialist party of sorts forming the government, so how better to rattle the NDP’s cage than threaten privatization?

      For years these health administrators have been able to pull politicians’ chains. They court the opposition party/parties to pressure the government of the day to give them more money. Then when the government changes, the administrators are friendly with the new Minister and Premier until the new government stops dancing to the health care tune. Then the cycle starts all over again. What has really caught health care administrators off-guard is that the public is paying attention and questioning how money is being spent. And this new questioning is providing politicians with the cover to stand up to these under-performing administrators. The conversation has moved beyond ‘give health care more money’, to what are you doing to justify what you are given? Health care administrators are lost for a response.

      • Gary MacLeod says:

        Besides a top heavy administrative structure I have been investigating other ways health care dollars are spent. One such way is research money given to various institutes.

        In a booklet titled ANPR, Atlantic Network for Prevention Research is a list of health think tanks that receive funding (health tax dollars) to do research on our health care system for the Atlantic Region.

        The mission statement for this group is “to conduct and facilitate health promotion research that influence policy and contribute to the health and well-being of Atlantic Canadians. In this publication they even defined what public health is and what it is not (a real interesting read). There are six groups listed on the bottom of this publication; AHPRC (Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre), SafetyNet (Centre for Occupational Health and Safety), PEI HRI (University of PEI Health Research Institute, UNB and CIHR ( Canadian Institute for Health Research).

        Hundreds of thousands of dollars are granted to these institutions every year at the expense of our health care system. It seems funds are allotted to do research for the betterment of health care delivery but fails to come to fruition. One such study was to research better dental care for elderly nursing home residents. While the thought is encouraging the program will not come to fruition simply due to the lack of the number of personal care workers in nursing homes. With a ratio of 7 residents to 1 personal care worker and often times the ratio is higher, due to vacations and sick days, this program can never be fully implemented. If you visit the website for this group you will see who the people are and the wonderful places, such as Granada, where they go to do meet with like-minded people to do their research. Some of these people sit on multiple boards for this group. While some of this work may begin with good intentions my belief is that there is too much money spent for the fluff that it produces.

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