Almost every day this summer I seem to have heard of some passionate, generous Canadian doing something to raise money for health care or various medical research projects. Some people cycle or run vast distances. Some politely strong-arm others to contribute to a cause. Some post wishes and dreams on-line inspiring others to donate to make the goal a reality.
Plus there is the vast army of volunteers who give, give and give to health care. It comes from the goodness of their hearts, whether it’s working a hospital information desk or a gift shop, being a candy-striper or some other function within hospitals and clinics, or canvassing door-to-door for a cause.
I mention all the ways citizens help because I have been greatly offended by the nickel-and-diming well-paid health care executives have engaged in. The most recent example is the IWK Children’s Hospital’s new policy requiring the parents of hospitalized sick kids to supply diapers. This is so miserly it defies polite description.
I’m in favour of cutting overheads and managing money responsibility, but all this petty little move expects to save is “somewhere between $10-20,000” out of a $240 million budget.
I’m sorry but this is a pissy little amount. I don’t understand why the IWK administrators have risked their and their hospital’s reputation over such an indefensible and easily attacked policy. If the 62 IWK hospital administrators who earn over $100,000 a year were to give up half-day’s pay that would save $17,400 and spare a lot of parents unnecessary stress. Would any of these administrators miss half a day’s pay?
I’m not a parent, but I have to believe having a hospitalized child is stressful enough without having an additional burden placed on them by an administrative elite who are clearly out of touch.
This got me thinking, how much, if anything, do the nearly 400 health care administrators earning over $100,000 a year donate to their health authorities or hospitals? For years the implication has been that these poor executives were earning less than their private sector colleagues and so that served as a type subliminal sacrifice. That was their contribution. But now that we have some hard numbers, we can see that their personal hard-luck stories aren’t quite that bad. So, what do they give back?
I checked the top dozen earners at the IWK and only found recognition on their website for three who are actually listed as donors. IWK CEO Anne McGuire and Allan Horsburgh are listed on the hospital website as being members of the IWK Health Centre Foundation Founders Club. These are individual donors who contribute $500 or more a year. Dr. John Hyndman is a member of the Founders Circle. These are donors who have given $10,000 or more cumulatively either in a year or over several years.
Would Nova Scotia’s other 396 health care administrators earning six-figure salaries care to tell us how much hard cash they’ve donated to their system in the last 12 months?