Skip to main content

North Bay-Sudbury bed transfer: Ombudsman refuses to investigate, LHIN hopes for closure

The Ontario Ombudsman has decided not to investigate the decision to move 31 mental health hospital beds from North Bay to Sudbury.

A complaint, filed in July by the Concerned Citizens' Committee of North Bay and Area, charged that  the North East LHIN didn't adequately consult with patients, families and experts before making its decision April 29.

The North East LHIN acknowledged that an open call for public consultation wasn't made, but said a task force consulted stakeholders.

Gareth Jones, director of the Special Ombudsman Response Team that considered the complaint, said his team interviewed many people before deciding not to investigate the complaint. Linda Williamson, a spokeswoman for Ombudsman Ontario, said the watchdog does not investigate decisions by a government organizations, such as a local health integration network, but rather the process.

Louise Paquette, CEO of the North East LHIN, commented "I'm pleased we've got some closure.  We can now put our energy into going forward."

Concerned Citizens chair Mike Taylor said he's disappointed with the decision, but also notes that the Ombudsman's response provides clarification on the details surrounding the LHIN decision.   Taylor said that the response "raises more questions as to the efficiency of the NE LHIN" adding "I wasn't expecting much. Even if they had done an inquiry, how effective would it be? I don't know."


Popular posts from this blog

Public sector employment in Ontario is far below the rest of Canada

The suggestion that Ontario has a deficit because its public sector is too large does not bear scrutiny. Consider the following. 

Public sector employment has fallen in the last three quarters in Ontario.  Since 2011, public sector employment has been pretty flat, with employment up less than 4 tenths of one percent in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of 2011.

This contrasts with public sector employment outside of Ontario which has gone up pretty consistently and is now 4.7% higher than it was in the first half of 2011.

Private sector employment has also gone up consistently over that period. In Ontario, it has increased 4.3% since the first half of 2011, while in Canada as a whole it has increased 4.9%.

As a result, public sector employment in Ontario is now shrinking as a percentage of the private sector workforce.  In contrast, in the rest of Canada, it is increasing. Moreover, public sector employment is muchhigher in the rest of Canada than in Ontario.  Indeed as…

The long series of failures of private clinics in Ontario

For many years, OCHU/CUPE has been concerned the Ontario government would transfer public hospital surgeries, procedures and diagnostic tests to private clinics. CUPE began campaigning in earnest against this possibility in the spring of 2007 with a tour of the province by former British Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, who talked about the disastrous British experience with private surgical clinics.

The door opened years ago with the introduction of fee-for-service hospital funding (sometimes called Quality Based Funding). Then in the fall of 2013 the government announced regulatory changes to facilitate this privatization. The government announced Request for Proposals for the summer of 2014 to expand the role of "Independent Health Facilities" (IHFs). 

With mass campaigns to stop the private clinic expansion by the Ontario Health Coalition the process slowed.  

But it seems the provincial Liberal government continues to push the idea.  Following a recent second OCHU tour wi…

Hospital worker sick leave: too much or too little?

Ontario hospital workers are muchless absent due to illness or disability than hospital workers Canada-wide.  In 2014, Ontario hospital workers were absent 10.2 days due to illness or disability, 2.9 days less than the Canada wide average – i.e. 22% less.  In fact, Ontario hospital workers have had consistently fewer sick days for years.

This is also true if absences due to family or personal responsibilities are included.
Statistics Canada data for the last fifteen years for Canada and Ontario are reported in the chart below, showing Ontario hospital workers are consistently off work less.
Assuming, Ontario accounts for about 38% of the Canada-wide hospital workforce, these figures suggest that the days lost due to illness of injury in Canada excluding Ontario are about 13.6 days per year ([13.6 x 0.68] + [10.2 x 0.38] = 13.1).

In other words, hospital workers in the rest of Canada are absent from work due to illness or disability 1/3 more than Ontario hospital workers. 

In fact, Canad…