Wynne Government Interferes with HSN Fiscal PlanPublished on April 20, 2018
When the Health Sciences North team, led by hospital CEO Dominic Giroux developed a responsible fiscal plan to balance their budget, they were met at the eleventh hour by Wynne government interference, as a ploy to freeze the process until after the June 2018 election.
Health care is important to all of us - everyone can agree on that; but so is fiscal responsibility. I applaud HSN executive team, the Board as well as the key stake holders for coming to a difficult but necessary decision regarding the financial viability of the institution given years of Liberal neglect.
However, the same cannot be said of the behaviour of the North East Local Integration Health Network (NE LHIN), Premier Wynne and Health Minster Dr. Helena Jaczek. Thirty-four minutes before the start of the HSN board meeting on April 12th, 2018, where the budget was to be approved, a letter arrived dictating terms to HSN to essentially cease and desist their responsible action for a period of 78 days; well after the June 7th election. See the full letter here.
This unprecedented and inappropriate political interference was clearly designed to hide from Northerners the necessary health care cuts caused by years of liberal neglect. In true liberal fashion, the government will now be spending more tax payers money on hiring third party consultants, as ordered to do so by the NE LHIN, to interfere with the made in the north solution developed by new CEO Dominic Giroux after extensive consultations with the staff of HSN. Are these not the ones who are undoubtedly in the best position to identify which cost reductions will least impact the patients of the North? They most certainly are.
Glenn Thibeault and Kathleen Wynne have allowed the funding of HSN and the other northern hospitals to suffer relative to their Southern Ontario counterparts. This fact was recently documented by letters from the four largest northern hospitals to the LHIN explaining that despite operating more efficiently than most Ontario Hospitals our finances are much worse indicating inadequate funding given the health challenges faced in the north. See the letters here.
Kathleen Wynne has had five-years to show Sudburians the value she places on our health. They have failed to support the health care needs of Northerners and given the chance they would fail us again.
As a father raising my family in Sudbury the health and viability of HSN is of great importance to me. I will not stand by and watch as the needs of the north continue to fall on deaf ears in Toronto. I firmly believe that if protecting the health care we depend on was a priority for Kathleen Wynne we would have more funding and less political interference. As your MPP and as a fellow Sudburian, I will fight to make sure HSN and the other northern hospitals get the funding that they are entitled to and that meets our unique needs.