More questionable health care decisions

Last week I asked if our health care system is dysfunctional because of a lack of funding or because of the questionable choices made by health care administrators. I believe it’s not a lack of money, but how those in charge choose to spend it.

Here is another example of bad choices:

Why cut nurses when the provincial system spends a billion dollars a year just on hospital managers!?!

This article neglects to mention that McGill University Health Centre’s former head was arrested on fraud and abuse of trust charges. It doesn’t mention that the hospital administrators lost $61 million in land speculation, that these administrators ignored consultants’ recommendations on how to cut $40 million a year in operating costs or that the cost of a new hospital has ballooned to over $2.3 billion from a budgeted $1.3 billion.

If this is how one province operates, how do we know that the other provinces, including ours, don’t function in a similar fashion? Nova Scotia certainly has a history of going over-budget on hospital construction. Our most recent example is the Truro hospital which was two years behind schedule and 78% over budget, and as a result are cutting back on staff hours and discouraging certain treatments.

When are politicians going to demand responsibility and results from those in charge of the system and the billions they spend?


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3 Responses to More questionable health care decisions

  1. Peter Ryan says:

    I cannot understand why one of our “so called” investigative journalists and editors at the Chronicle Herald and our local news guru, Steve Murphy, aren’t all over this issue. I seldom see anything of substance published or discussed on the running of our healthcare system other than yourself.

    In my experience as a senior manager of a medium sized manufacturing company for 35 years, I found that in most cases of poor performance and cost control was an incompetent, unqualified management issue. The government almost always looks at problems from the bottom up instead of from the top down. When will we ever get responsible people held accountable and do more “looking in the mirror”?

    • Thank you.

      I think there are several issues. First, most journalists and editors have been spared having to use the system. So they, like most people, believe it’s better than it is. And I think a lot of people want to support health care so focus on happy, positive stories about a treatment success. The health authorities feed those stories – it helps with fundraising.

      It has been very unpopular to criticize our health care system. But once you do, you learn how many others have had bad experiences. Because our “system” is so fragmented those in charge of it are able to get away with suggesting that whatever problem someone had is a “one-off”. No one has bothered to look at systemic failings. My hope is that people will share their experiences and that by coming out of the closet we can affect change.

      It’s important that the political class know they can question the health administrators without being pilloried in the polls. In reality, the politicians and any agents of change have been bullied into silence in the past. Now, thanks to social media, we have a way to communicate and build a movement for change.

  2. shirley says:

    I recently spent 10 days sitting in the Halifax informary where my husband underwent an emergency surgery.

    I could not have asked for a better experience and I know who needs to get that credit and it is the front line workers from the specialists, Residents, nurses, right to the person who delivered the meals. I know when they go to work each day their mission is to provide for the patient they are looking after. A day where you are able to do that makes for a happy day for that Nurse or Doctor.

    I have also seen them advocate for me and on that particular unit 4.1 I have to say they certainly have patient-centered care.

    Having worked in the system 40 years myself, I know that this does not come easy to the front lines. But, they did, and I am very appreciative.

    I also am very aware of what their days are like to accomplish that excellence and the battles they face each day.

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