Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obstructionist Liberal MPP Jim Bradley helped cover up Health Ministry scandal by refusing to call for ombudsman access

Now that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's Liberal scumbag health-care monopolists have had the lid lifted on their eHealth scam, let's quickly look at this article, which appeared just a year ago, last June, in 2008, and then put it in perspective with today's eHealth scandal:

Maria Babbage wrote in "Powerful hospital lobby 'calling shots': Ombudsman", (St. Catharines Standard, Jun.7, 2008):

"The province's refusal to allow more independent oversight of its hospitals in the wake of concerns over C. difficile has given Ontario a black eye, provincial Ombudsman Andre Marin said Friday.

It's embarrassing that Ontario is "perpetuating the status quo" when it is the only province in Canada whose ombudsman doesn't have the power to oversee hospitals, he said.

"There's been a very powerful hospital lobby that's been calling the shots over this one, and I think members of the public are infuriated -- and rightly so -- that Ontario is not providing its citizens the scrutiny of a sector of the province which gobbles up $18 billion of revenue," Marin said.

"I mean, it's an incredibly large amount of money, and there are no checks and balances."

Marin investigated complaints about a hospital in January, but only after the government took over control of the facility by appointing a supervisor. He said his office has complained about the problem for decades, only to have the government turn a deaf ear.

"Every year we get hundreds of complaints from people and we're helpless, we cannot do anything about it," he said.

"Nor is there any other body that can investigate independently and make recommendations to fix the problem. So we're at the mercy of hospitals. We write them an $18-billion cheque, no questions asked."

For weeks, opposition parties have been accusing the government of covering up the extent of a C. difficile outbreak in Ontario hospitals and have repeatedly demanded more independent oversight of the province's hospitals.

NDP critic Cheri DiNovo renewed her calls for ombudsman oversight Friday after revealing that her 87-year-old uncle Joseph died in April after contracting the potentially deadly bacteria at a Toronto hospital.

The "phenomenal" man and retired sheet metal worker who was the "life of every party" had lived independently until he was hospitalized due to a urinary tract infection, DiNovo said.

"This is not the way anyone's life should end," she said.

Linda Del Grande, DiNovo's cousin who cared for her father during his five months in hospital, said it was difficult to obtain information about the infection from hospital staff.

"One of my frustrations is that we seem to be groping in the dark about this infection," she said.

"I still feel very much in the dark having talked to nurses and doctors and other health-care providers during all that time. I feel frustrated and confused about how serious this infection is."

C. difficile is believed to be responsible for 260 deaths in seven Ontario hospitals, including 62 at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington.

The Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats claim those deaths could have been prevented if the province had acted more quickly after the infection claimed 2,000 lives in Quebec in 2003.

Health Minister George Smitherman recently ordered all hospitals to start reporting cases of C. difficile starting Sept. 30, the first of many types of infectious diseases that hospitals will be required to report to the public over the next year. "


We can now see that Dalton McGuinty and his scumbag arrogant Liberal MPP's, such as Jim Bradley, were already hiding the eHealth scandal! The Liberals DID NOT want to risk having the ombudsman, or anyone else, examining the murky layers of the Liberal's unaccountable health care monopoly. It's clear, even a year ago, in June 2008, that the Liberals didn't want anyone looking into their health-care monopoly's methods of operation, and how these methods related to the veracity of the Liberal's political claims about their health monopoly's performance. If Dalton McGuinty's s secretive Liberal government had allowed ombudsman scrutiny even a year ago, then the current eHealth scandal now unfolding in June 2009, could have most certainly been brought to light much earlier, if not prevented altogether.

We were then - as we still are now - just supposed to trust Dalton and his Liberal scumbags, who continually pretend that there is nothing wrong with their monopoly health system!

The article above dealt with what was the issue in the summer of 2008: the Liberal's cover-up and refusal to allow independent scrutiny of their health care monopoly's hospitals, which we learned had killed hundreds of patients due to C.dif infections.

The ombudsman stated back in June 2008 (and we've known years earlier!) that although the Liberals spend billions of taxpayer dollars just on health care, "there are no checks and balances" in McGuinty's state-run health system. Arrogant Liberal MPP Jim Bradley ignored my requests that his Liberals allow the ombudsman access to scrutinize their health monopoly. Jim Bradley acted as an arrogant, ideological obstructionist, denying a process of transparency and independent scrutiny. Jim Bradley, typical dirtbag Liberal, refused to answer any questions related to his Liberal's atrocious handling of their health care obligations. The concepts of accountability, responsibility and independently-accessed oversight didn't, and still don't, penetrate the ideological blinders worn by arrogant monopolists such as Liberal MPP Jim Bradley.

Now, we have the Liberals tied in with all kinds of Liberal-friendly insiders - former Liberal staffers, or Liberal fundraisers - who are involved in this eHealth untendered-contracts-scam, yet good ole McGuinty still doesn't think that any impropriety has taken place in his secretive health monopoly! We see that an untendered contract was also given by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities to the same Liberal-friendly consulting firm which is involved in the Health Ministry scandal, as Tanya Talaga wrote in "Consultant at eHealth was given more work", (Toronto Star, Jun.13, 2009):

"A consultancy group that received nearly $2 million in untendered contracts from eHealth Ontario was awarded another $435,000 in provincial work last year without having to compete for the deal, the Toronto Star has learned.

Courtyard Group received an untendered contract from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities worth $435,000 for 2,000 hours of work last September, government officials say.

Courtyard was assessing capital needs of colleges and universities prior to the $1.3 billion infrastructure funding announcement made in late May by the provincial and federal governments.

"We don't have that capacity in the ministry. That has been one of the weaknesses we have," the minister, John Milloy, told the Star in an interview yesterday.

"I will be very candid in saying I was surprised at the limited capacity when I became minister in dealing with capital requests."

Courtyard is an international consultancy whose Toronto office has strong ties to the Liberal government. Documents obtained by the Star show Courtyard's John Ronson, a co-chair of the 1995 Liberal election campaign, billed eHealth on March 18 and 19 for consulting on "risk management" and "governance" issues at $393 an hour for a total of $1,572 for four hours' work.
Ronson led the team on the universities contract, Milloy said.

Karli Farrow, a former policy adviser to Premier Dalton McGuinty and chief of staff to former Health Minister George Smitherman, was paid $10,646 for 32.5 hours of eHealth work as a Courtyard Group consultant in January. She left Smitherman's office in 2007.

EHealth Ontario has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks for doling out untendered contracts and hiring expensive consultants.

Milloy said Courtyard was chosen for its reputation, not because of its Liberal ties. "They are a proven player in the field," he said.

"Courtyard ... had done a lot of the same type of work in the hospital sector. John Ronson led the team," Milloy said. "We certainly got feedback from the university sector that he was very good at this type of analysis."

Government procurement rules allow sole-source contracts in urgent situations and this was a rush job to meet the provincial budget deadline, Milloy said."
So where else is this cosy Liberal-friendly scam occurring? McGuinty now wants auditor Jim McCarter to look into this scam- at eHealth only. But, again, why wasn't McCarter allowed permanent access and oversight into the Liberal's health monopoly, in the first place, several years ago, when I had brought up this very concern to ignorant Liberal MPP Jim Bradley? The answer is that Liberals don't want any potentially-embarrassing investigations which they can't first control and manipulate. Bradley or McGuinty could have cared less when McCarter wrote about systemic problems in the Liberal's health system several years ago. (see: http://rightinniagara.blogspot.com/2008/03/state-run-monopoly-health-care-should.html)

McGuinty's Liberals at the time simply ignored auditor McCarter's concerns!! Now - as they have with the ombudsman - the Liberals have asked the auditor's office to look into only a small part of the health-care mess which they are now juggling, hoping no-one finds out about what they're doing behind all the other closed (yet publicly-funded) health-care doors.

Problem is, like before, McGuinty and his slimebag Grits are just delaying and putting up a smokescreen with their limited investigation, which they'll ignore like they did their previous phony 'investigations' - because the Liberals aren't compelled to follow or implement anything which the ombudsman or the auditor might recommend.

There are still NO 'checks and balances', and still NO transparency, under McGuinty's secretive Liberal health care monopoly.
{UPDATE: Please fast-forward to my article in 2011, which directly links back to the same subject matter of this article. Liberal MPP Jim Bradley and his secretive Liberal  single-payer-pushing monopolists refused to publicly investigate  the hundreds of  C. diff deaths throughout Ontario in 2008; this was Liberal negligence on a mass-scale, which directly led to the 2011 C.diff outbreak in Niagara, where some 40 patients died.}

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