Skip to main content

Four ambulance salaries unreported? What about the real problem?

The Toronto Star ran a top of the front page news report yesterday on how the publicly-operated Ornge air ambulance service stopped reporting the salaries of four of its top bosses a few years back.  The excuse the organization is peddling, apparently, is that it has set up some for-profit companies legally separate from Ornge and so does not have to report the salaries under the law.

Today, the Star editorialists got in quite a lather about this concluding, "it's up to (Health Minister Deb) Matthews to bring greater transparency to a company that provides a vital public health service and spends quite a lot of taxpayer dollars doing it."

This over four unreported salaries?  Wow, call the Mounties.

I suppose this does qualify as news, however.  Public providers should report publicly -- and not skirt the rules.

But, step back, and the real scandal isn't that the salaries of four public sector bosses aren't reported.

Rather it's that the multitude of for-profit corporations who are also funded by the public purse almost certainly have scads of people raking in over $100, 000 -- and they do not have to report how many or how much they are making.  The for-profits (unlike public providers) don't have to report.  Even though these publicly funded, private corporations often provide the exact same services as public, not for-profit providers  -- organizations which do have to report.

There is a world of difference.  Public providers report publicly, and that is how it should be. It's considered a scandal when they try to dodge public reporting.   In  contrast,  private corporations run on secrecy and 'commercial confidentiality' and publicly report much, much less, even when they are providing public services.

Yet there is a lot more than four people in such private corporations making over $100,000.  Multiply four by a thousand (or, more likely, ten-thousand).


Popular posts from this blog

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  New research indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed compared to the other provinces. 
LTC staffing falls short:  The latest data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. 
Part of this is driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.

Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 

No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…