Saturday, September 24, 2011

McGuinty's Real Health Care Record; Cuts, Layoffs and The Sunshine Club

Seems McGuinty wants to keep bringing up the name of Mike Harris and painting himself as the health care Premier. Really Dalton? We all know McGuinty is a liar who can't be trusted. Below is a list that barely scratches the surface of health care cuts initiated by McGuinty's government. Hudak and Horvath should be reminding Ontario voters of this every day.Let's take a look at some of McGuinty's actual record on health care, not that make-believe world he wants to delude us with:

-$1.2 billion E-Health Scandal Wasted

-$300,000 severance for the E-Health head when the scandal was uncovered.

- Delisted eye exams, physiotherapy, and chiropractic care, sighting the fact it was unaffordable.

-made sex-change operations OHIP paid (yet the above unaffordable?)

- between 1995 and 2003 the PC government had created 20,000 new long term care beds and refurbished 16,000 more. Health Minister Deb Matthews said the McGuinty government has opened almost 8,000 new long term care beds, and is committed to adding another 2,000 beds in 10 communities this year. (which record is better?)

-NDP Leader Andrea Horwath accused the government of announcing $14 million in new funding to “plug a hole in the Niagara Health System’s budget” to divert attention from closing emergency rooms in Fort Erie and Port Colborne. She also raised the byelection bailout in Toronto of the Grace Hospital. “Will this minister continue to play cynical politics with Ontario hospital funding?” The Minister said they were working with the LHINs to determine where additional funding was needed.

-The Ottawa Hospital is the latest to announce positions are being cut to balance its budget. Assuming a two per cent funding increase for this coming year, the Ottawa Hospital has to trim its budget by almost $19 million. More than 100 positions are being eliminated at the hospital, including 4.35 FTEs from among OPSEU represented positions.

-The Sudbury Regional Hospital is cutting 41,000 cleaning hours at the hospital and expanding contracting out. The affected members belong to CUPE

-WHITBY – Ontario Shores is eliminating 55 positions at the former Whitby Mental Health Centre in order to cope with underfunding from the Ministry of Health.

Forty of the positions will receive layoff notices, while 15 workers will be redeployed following contracting-out of their work.

-In addition to eliminating 55 positions, Ontario Shores has announced that it is closing one of two Beacon House sites. The Oshawa site will now be closed permanently. Beacon House is a residential treatment program serving individuals with complex personality problems that have resulted in psychiatric hospitalizations and frequent involvement with community services.

Ontario Shores has also closed Challenging Directions Enterprises, a Whitby-based outpatient workshop that provides work experience to 75-80 clients each day. The sheltered workshop closed its doors February 23rd.

OPSEU believe the layoffs are a partial response to a growing legion of managers being employed at Ontario Shores. This expanding list of managers is beginning to displace programming space for clients as Ontario Shores seeks to find new office space to accommodate them.

-LHINs were not included in new rules prohibiting sole-source contracting. Tory Leader Tim Hudak raised a sole-sourced $80,000 contract between the Toronto Central LHIN and the Courtyard Group, a Liberal-friendly consulting firm. The contract was to help implement a diabetes strategy. Hudak linked a number of those in the contract with the e-health scandal. Hudak said that after e-health, the same consultants were coming back for “second helpings” from the LHINs.

-PC health critic Christine Elliott raised questions about the qualifications of LHIN board members who happened to also be significant financial contributors to the McGuinty Liberals. That list included Juanita Gledhill, Chair of the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN, the same LHIN that approved closure of the ERs at Port Colborne and Fort Erie.

-cutting services, including the Toronto St. Joseph’s pain clinic, one of several services recently scheduled for closure by the cash-strapped hospital. “They’ve left hospitals and clinics across the province making random cuts to front-line services

-$15 million bailout of the Toronto Grace Hospital during a by-election with cuts to hospitals in other communities

-layoffs at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton and at Hamilton Health Sciences

- the number of LHIN positions on the sunshine list (those earning more than $100k per year) had grown by 150 per cent, from 40 to 95 in three years. Executive salaries at the LHIN were also up by 213 per cent.

- Hamilton Health Sciences: “Even though we’re recognized as one of the most efficient hospitals in the province, we have been forced to make some changes that will impact patient care… In 2010/11 we will do 1,200 fewer surgical procedures.”

-, St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) is cutting services that will limit access to outpatient lab testing, increase waits for diagnostic imaging, and impact jobs in the community.

Six positions are expected to be eliminated from the lab and diagnostic imaging – this at a time when the Ontario government is spending to stimulate new jobs in the economy.

- The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is calling on the McGuinty government to take steps to protect mental health services after a minimum of 10 layoffs was announced last week at Providence Care hospital

-Rouge Valley Health System gave notice of layoff to CUPE, OPSEU and ONA. Cuts to OPSEU included 14 positions affecting cardiac care, rehab, mental health, diagnostic imaging, and laboratory. Meanwhile Toronto East General hospital is closing its physiotherapy clinic later this year and St. Michael’s has already announced it is postponing elective surgery and reducing office cleaning to save money.

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