Stinky health care spending

The stink surrounding questionable executive expenditures at the IWK is growing.

The details are laid out here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/iwk-tracy-kitch-auditor-general-stephen-darcy-1.4555146

The details seem to be adding up to a type of abuse that most of us have felt was unbelievable in a small place like Nova Scotia where everyone knows everyone.

Coming on the heels of this expanding questionable expense scandal are the legal costs incurred by Capital Health and the Nova Scotia Health Authority to defend themselves against a legal action by Dr. Gabrielle Horne.

Jim Vibert, writing in The Chronicle Herald, says legal experts believe the health authorities spent $10 million of taxpayer money on their defence!!

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1550008-vibert-justice-demands-full-accounting-for-dr.-horne’s-ordeal

This gobsmacking number is unacceptable. It is too great an expenditure to not be publicized and questioned. Who authorized this? And how is it acceptable to piss away so much money on such a questionable case? The health authority managed to have the monetary award for Dr. Horne reduced, but they were still found guilty. They were wrong. And we, their employers, are left holding the bag while they spend unlimited amounts to protect their reputation and income.

Dr. Horne spend $1.3 million to defend her reputation, so with the $800,000 award granted by the appeals court, she is out money, and patients were deprived of her skill and research. Where is the penalty for the people who failed in their obligations, who were judged in the wrong by the court? What penalty or suffering or inconvenience did they endure?

The Horne case should inspire a provincial cap on how much a government agency, board, commission and minister can spend on legal fees. Allowing public officials and executives to treat the public purse as a bottomless resource for them to hide behind and cover their failures is wrong and immoral and, in this case, doesn’t contribute to better medicine in Nova Scotia. We need fixed limits on legal budgets. The NSHA won’t like it, but tough, it may be the only way to make this super secret authority truly accountable.

The questionable expenses and outrageous legal bills stink to high heaven.

When someone in the public employ behaves badly, does something illegal and/or actionable, they, not the taxpayer, should pay. It is unacceptable that the public health care system is left to pay for these wrong, and perhaps illegal, actions.

Many times a case like this would have been settled privately without the necessity of going to court. It’s ironic that a body as secretive as the NSHA would do something so publicly, which raises the question: was this action about an issue or vanity and vengeance?

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One Response to Stinky health care spending

  1. Bubbie says:

    Is it any wonder we cannot attract doctors to this province? This doctor was bullied by her male peers and told lies about her. She ended up in a 10 year, $10,000,000 court battle, reputation ruined, even though she won a $1.4 million lawsuit which was reduced to $800,000.
    Shame on our government. Given the attitude of this present government it won’t be too long before we have private medicine along with private education.

    There has been an injustice bestowed upon Doctor Horne. Even though she has won her case they were able to reduce the amount she was awarded. While her reputation was damaged, politicians and bureaucrats overseeing this case will go unscathed with their six figure salaries. There are twenty pages of the recent Auditor General’s Report showing the salaries of the NSHA bureaucrats. While Doctor Horne was battling to save her career and reputation, these bureaucrats were comfortably sitting back earning over $100,000 dollars with the top salary reaching $350,000 for a total close to $100,000,000/yr. Add that to the $10,000,000 battling that case. While Dr. Horne is in the practice of saving lives, these, too many, high priced bureaucrats are in the business of just talking about health care.

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