3/16/10

Scientific Politics

The Liberals have doled out about $70 million in recent weeks to tide over  a dozen or so hospitals facing deficits or other problems as the fiscal year ends.  


Of course, many other communities have just been left to suck up service cuts.  (About 70 hospitals are in deficit and about 30 are forced to get cash advances from the government just to meet payroll.)


The claim is that this  differential treatment is based on a scientific estimate of the merits of the claims by the various hospitals. And, heavens, it certainly has nothing to do with politics.


So it is interesting to note that about half of the money went to communities that pushed back the hardest: Niagara and Brampton.  


Cornwall also got about $5 M.  The local LHIN boss claims that a LHIN "team spent considerable time and energy reviewing the hospital's clinical services, administration, and governance before concluding  that $6.6 million of additional annual operating funding was necessary." 


Nevertheless, when the money came through (or at least $5 M of it)  in January, the local Liberal MPP, Jim Brownell, made sure he was on site to hand over the check to the hospital president.  And, of course, the cameras were clicking.  The local paper's headline rejoiced "Just What the doctor ordered".  


Apparently, the picture caught Brownell 'beaming".   


It's not so clear, that he is still so giddy -- Cornwall Community Hospital is now facing $3.7 M in cuts and the community is definitely not beaming.

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