Sunday, August 09, 2009

Who Needs Health Care Anyways: The Scurrying Continues

You just gotta know that something Wicked this way comes when so many well-paid, well-fed BC Liberal appointed Health Authority CEO's have left their positions in the last six months. I'm smelling rats fleeing rapidly sinking ships. These are people who have collected hundreds of thousands in salary, bonuses, perks etc. while carrying out the mandate of their masters to help the privatization ideology continue on unchecked within each region, slashing health care services and accessibility for most of us.

So, they privatized food and janitorial services. For years now, there have been reports of lower standards and even substandard cleanliness in hospitals, in care homes, inedible, microwaved food. Laundry sent to Alberta, rather than having workers in BC doing the work and spending income earned in their local communities.

More recently they've contracted out and privatized the supply chain for the Health Authorities. Sounds logical, you order in bulk, get a better price. Let's see the contract with Shared Services to see if the taxpayers are really getting a better deal. Oops, sorry, that's not going to be made public.

Anyone with half a brain left, the other half was of course neutralized to work for the BC Liberals, knows that now with the oh-so-Honourable Kevin Falcon at the helm of MOH that he is going to put the HELL in HELLTHcare like no Minister ever has.

A lot of harm was done under Abbott (and did anyone notice the toll it took on Abbott's visage over the years, that man AGED years while on this file), but you didn't get the sense that he was an uncaring, vicious and bloodthirsty Campbellite, rising up the ranks. Not so the new guy, he has earned his stripes and will continue to snap at his Main Man's heels like one of those yappy dogs you just want to kick so it will shut up.

He's been put in charge of the biggest, most funded and most important portfolio in government and he is good at following orders, no matter what. We're all dealing with the legacy of his work in Transportation. Hell, his own administration and fellow Cabinet Minister, Shirley Bond, are now doing audits of both BC Ferries and Translink to see how much they're soaking taxpayers and where "efficiencies" can be made after his time there, we should all be cringing about what he'll do to health care now.

Suggestion - start axing the most top-heavy government in BC history. Thre is so much dead and useless wood in each Ministry we could burn the government down with one carelessly thrown butt out the window. Slash executive salaries, if they don't like it, quit and leave. And then hire people who know what they're doing and are invested in providing the best services possible to the people of BC.

In what could only be described as some sort of Kafka-esque nightmare oligarchy, while ordering Health Authorities to make cuts, find "efficiencies" which can and will include cuts to frontline health care services and continuing to diminish health care in general, the braintrust in the BC government has also increased executive salaries for CEO's of the Health Authorities. It's hard not to sometimes feel like we're like Alice and we've fallen down the hole into a surreal world where bandits and thieves make off like Queens and Kings with our hard-earned money time and time again.

Watch for more privatization and less Healthcare down the road around BC, as services get downgraded in more communities.
People live in pain on waiting lists and watch loved ones go downhill, unable to access services that make a difference in their lives.

Ask yourself this - do you want to be American? Because this administration and the Shadows behind them want to destroy BC's health care system so it can be turned into the horrific American-style FOR PROFIT medical and health care system. If you haven't seen Michael Moore's Sicko, take a gander at it and take a good hard look at BC's future at the BC Liberals hands.


B.C. Public Sector Executive Compensation Disclosure
For the 2008/09 Fiscal year

Fraser Health Authority:
Murray, Dr. Nigel; President & CEO - Base salary - $348,660; Total Compensation: $4 66,176

Interior Health Authority:
Murray Ramsden - Chief Executive Officer - Base: $356,985; Total Compensation: $398,409

Northern Health Authority:
Catherine Ulrich - President & CEO - Base: $265,000; Total Compensation: $302,904

Provincial Health Authority:
Lynda Cranston - President & CEO - Base: $357,391; Total Compensation: $447,045

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority:
Ida Goodreau - CEO - Base: $305,845; Total Compensation: $417,197

Vancouver Island Health Authority:
Howard Waldner President & CEO - Base: $323,341; Total Compensation: $414,657

BC Government Salaries for Top Executive on the Rise
CBC News. June 29 2009.

The B.C. government is paying out more money to top executives, according to figures released by the province Monday.
  • Ida Goodreau, former CEO of Vancouver Coastal Health, $366,621.
  • Dr. Nigel Murray, CEO of Fraser Health $466,176.
Fraser Health Authority finally decides on CEO

After a 30-month vacancy, Dr. Nigel Murray, a physician and health administrator from New Zealand, has filled the key position of president and CEO for the largest health region in the province.

Last fall, Keith Anderson, who has been the interim Fraser Health CEO since the firing of Bob Smith [Ed. Former CEO of FHA] in March 2005, announced he pulled his name out of the running to take over the position on a permanent basis. Anderson, who would not reveal why he took his name off the candidate list, agreed to continue to act as the interim CEO until a replacement was named.

Vancouver Coastal Health president resigns to take new job
Pamela Fayerman, Vancouver Sun. January 19, 2009.


Ida Goodreau, who has led Vancouver Coastal Health Authority for more than six years, is resigning at the end of next month to return to the private sector.

Health industry stakeholders have been speculating for months about Goodreau’s future as a result of an accumulated $100-million health region deficit, but she said there was no government pressure to leave.

“As to the deficit, we have been working with government to bring that down and we have managed to reduce the amount every year, from about $44 million three years ago to a current level of about $25 to $30 million.”

VIHA Chief Operations Officer Leaving for Alberta

Mike Conroy's resignation follows departure of two other managers

Rob Shaw, Times Colonist. May 31, 2009.


Conroy's departure adds to a period of instability in the leadership of the health authority, which runs hospitals, health centres and care facilities across Vancouver Island.

VIHA lost two other managers in the past few weeks -- Heather Cook, director of residential services, and Lynda Foley, director of home and community care, have both taken jobs with the Fraser Health Authority, said VIHA spokeswoman Shannon Marshall.

CEO Howard Waldner announced in late April he was leaving for a job in Wales, but then opted to remain on Vancouver Island.


Vancouver Island Health Authority Scrambles to Cut Costs
Lindsay Kines, Times Colonist. June 24, 2009.


Howard Waldner, president and chief executive officer, said in a message to all staff this week that VIHA faces the same financial pressures as health authorities across the province.

"We're simply not able to meet all the demands that we have."

He said the deficit would be similar to a 3.5 per cent shortfall projected for B.C.'s health authorities generally. On VIHA's anticipated budget of $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion, that would create a shortfall of between $50 million and $60 million.

NDP Misleading Public on Health Care Cuts
CBC. July 28, 2009.

[Ed. That would be misleading the public with FHA's own documents.]

Dix released internal documents that say the Fraser Health Authority is considering deep cuts to make up for a $160-million deficit by closing 5½ operating rooms, downgrading the emergency room at Mission Memorial Hospital, closing diabetes programs in Delta and Mission and cutting 200 acute care beds.

Dix said the documents are evidence the B.C. Liberal government knew about the looming deficits before last May's provincial election. Following the election, Health Minister Kevin Falcon told the province's regional health authorities they would have to cut an estimated $360 million in spending plans to stick within their budgets for the year.

The current B.C. health-care budget of about $15.7 billion is expected to climb by more than $2 billion by 2011, an increase of 87 per cent since 2001, according to ministry officials.


Interior Health CEO Stepping Down
CBC. August 8, 2009.

The head of B.C.'s Interior Health Authority will step down at the end of the year, but the chairman of its board of directors says Murray Ramsden's departure is not connected with the authority's financial problems.

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