Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another smug Liberal-appointed LHIN bureaucrat spews crap

Another overpaid Liberal-appointed smug LHIN asshole spews his offensive crap.
Ahhhhh... George Smitherman would be so proud of what he foisted onto the patients and taxpayers trapped in Dalton McGuinty's single-payer-health-monopoly-infected province of Ontario.
No doubt, Dalton McGuinty and Deb Matthews are.

Anne Jarvis wrote in "Time to rein in LHIN's" (Windsor Star, Aug.27, 2010):

" 'Let's be very clear - this guy is making this crap up," Gary Switzer, CEO of the Erie-St. Clair Local Health Integration Network, snapped Wednesday after another attack by Tory leader Tim Hudak.

Well, I'm not making this up. Mina Grossman-Ianni, chairwoman of the local LHIN, received a whopping $54,075 in per diem payments last year - 29 per cent more than the previous year.

Per diems for the rest of the board, including a vice-chairman and seven directors, totalled $64,450. The entire board also received $127,811 for expenses. Grand total: almost a quarter of a million dollars.

"That's offensive," said a source high up in local health care.

"I don't think it's a lot of money," Grossman-Ianni said of her stipend.

It's outrageous. LHINs are supposed to save the health care system money. Board appointments are part-time positions. The few people in the public who actually know what a LHIN is (it co-ordinates and funds local health care) assume board members are volunteers.

As chairwoman, Grossman-Ianni gets $350 a day. The vice-chair gets $250 and board members $200. They are also reimbursed for expenses like mileage and meals. Some meetings last all day, Grossman-Ianni said. If she works part of the day, she charges part of the stipend. She made more last year because she worked more.

By contrast, local hospital board members get a cheap dinner at meetings. That's it.

By the way, LHIN board members are appointed by the Ontario government, which is odd since LHINs are supposed to provide local control over health care. Hospital board appointments are decided locally.

Switzer was paid $313,119 last year. But he wants to set the record straight. That was because he received one of his bonuses a year late. His actual salary is only $260,000. However, he's eligible for a 14 per cent performance bonus. He's received that bonus every year - notwithstanding the recent scathing report on Ontario's 14 LIHNs by provincial ombudsman Andre Marin.

Switzer's pay was $222,696 three years ago. He's moving up -- fast.

Seven of the LHIN's staff made Ontario's Sunshine List of provincial employees paid more than $100,000 a year. Every year, there has been one more person on the list.

The LHIN spent a total of $4.6 million on administration last year. That's a lot of money that could go toward the much-needed second cardiac catheterization lab.

Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj makes $265,000, substantially less than Switzer and his bonus, and as Musyj likes to point out, he hasn't had an increase since 2007. The hospital's entire non-union staff has had their pay frozen for two years. And hospitals, unlike LHINs, actually treat patients.

These fiefdoms were created in 2007 to control spiralling health care costs by rationalizing services and to provide communities with more say in their services. But they haven't done a good job at either mandate.

It takes three contracts to get a patient at home a bath, says health policy analyst Dr. Michael Rachlis of the University of Toronto.

The LHIN contracts with the Community Care Access Centre, which arranges home care.

The CCAC contracts with a home care service, and the service contracts with health care workers. There are lots of boards and CEOs in this system.

Other provinces think it's "pretty stupid," said Rachlis.

The Erie-St. Clair LHIN is working on rationalizing services at the five hospitals it covers in Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton. It's paying a consultant $1.5 million to tell it what to do. The job was "beyond the resources" of the LHIN, said Switzer.

LHINs also don't include public health boards or even many doctors, Rachlis said. It's hard to plan health care without public health boards and doctors.

LHINs don't have much real power, either, he said. The province and the hospitals have the power. There was scant mention of the local LHIN when all hell broke loose at Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital recently. That's telling.

Switzer says his LHIN tries hard to engage the community, organizing public meetings and focus groups. So why doesn't anyone know what a LHIN is? Three-quarters of the community probably doesn't know what it is, said my source.

Illegal, secret board meetings at LHINs across Ontario, exposed by the ombudsman, showed only contempt for the idea of consulting the community. So did the responses by Switzer and local chairwoman Grossman-Ianni, who defended the meetings.

The province - acting a year after seeing Marin's draft report - had to tell them to stop.

We shouldn't abolish LHINs, like Hudak wants. With health care consuming 40 per cent of Ontario's budget and an aging population, we need to rationalize services, and local communities should have a say. But the first thing to be restructured, it's clear, is the LHINs."

Sorry, Anne, but after reading your own report the conclusion ought to be that the FIRST thing to do is FIRE SWITZER - this jerkoff's gotta go, along with every Liberal-appointed useless LHIN leech in Ontario. Is Switzer now acting as Deb Matthew's political spokesman as well?!
And by the way, it's not just Hudak who wants to abolish the disastrous LHIN's - Welland NDP MPP Kormos has said the same thing (see Tanya Talaga's Aug.21, 2010 Toronto Star story "Ontario's local health networks must go, opposition says" here, here).

We SHOULD abolish the LHIN's ASAP, and send smug shits like Switzer packing. Switzer sounds just like a George Smitherman-emulating Liberal political hack/puppet.

All of this, by the way [as if it needs repeating, but alas, it does] is the aftermath of LHIN-creator and Liberal health-monopoly-enforcing-ideologue George Smitherman's incompetence: we must remember this.

This McGuinty-government-created LHIN disaster is unfolding not only in Windsor, but in Niagara (which was the focus of ombudsman Marin's report) and throughout Ontario.

Smitherman has merrily since slithered off to run for mayor of Toronto, but this has Slippery George's slimy half-cocked Liberal monopolist stench all over it.

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