Tuesday, August 7, 2012
SOMETHING DOES SMELL AT EASTERN HEALTH
Vickie Kaminski, president and chief executive officer of Eastern Health, is no stranger to controversy.
When the former CEO of Sudbury Regional Hospital in Ontario arrived to run this province’s largest (and most troubled) health authority, Health Minister Ross Wiseman said she "brings with her a wealth of knowledge, experience and a commitment to excellence in health care. Her leadership will assist in ensuring high-quality health and community services throughout the Eastern Region."
Her tenure has been a difficult one. For most of the past three years she has been putting out fires, reacting to scandals of some sort and having trouble recruiting professionals to the beleaguered health authority which manages hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and community health programs on the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas, and has about 12,000 employees.
Last week, in the wake of serious privacy breaches at Eastern Health, Liberal Health Critic Jim Bennett said that CEO Vickie Kaminski should quit or be fired. At first glance, I thought it was a partisan political shot. Surely, Ms. Kaminski should not be held personally accountable for a nosey employee’s behavior. However, when one looks at this incident in the context of the myriad of foul-ups at Eastern Health, Bennett’s call has merit.
It seems to me that not a lot has changed in running the shop, with unexplainable cost overruns, shortages of health professionals, medical screw-ups, private medical information being discussed in public, medical waste spilling on the streets, more lab test foul-ups and a lot of silly excuses.
Four years in it seems fair to evaluate and ask the question, has she lived up to former Health Minister Ross Wiseman billing! Are we getting our scarce health care dollars worth. We are paying more and more out to the executive but the performance of the board does not look to be responding.
Has she returned Eastern Health to respectability? Has she rebuild morale among health care workers and trust among Newfoundlanders?
The public should be more concerned, and demand more accountability.
What has she accomplished? Morale is in the basement, no one wants to work there, there are open positions that we can't recruit for....it has been a few years, maybe its someone else's turn?
Posted by Peter L. Whittle