Citizens’ office launches separate Central Health investigation
Ombudsman to review allegations of toxic management
The pressure is on yet again for administration and management of the Central Regional Health Authority.
One day after Health Minister John Haggie announced an external review of Central Health management due to concerns and complaints about health care services in central Newfoundland, the provincial Office of the Citizens’ Representative announced its own investigation Feb. 8.
In a similar vein as government’s review by Peter Vaughan, former deputy health minister from Nova Scotia, complaints from Central Health staff about alleged unfair treatment by administration triggered the citizens’ office investigation.
Citizens’ representative Barry Fleming said the office is responding to “a wide variety of individuals about the management of Central Health.”
Fleming said after hearing concerns from various people, the ombudsman’s office initiated its own motion of investigation, which is permitted under its governing legislation.
The citizens’ office has requested a copy of Vaughn’s terms of reference from the Department of Health, according to Fleming.
“We won’t undertake our investigation of similar issues that he is investigating or reviewing after he has completed,” said Fleming. “It may be that Dr. Vaughn’s review will address the concerns that are raised in the allegations to us.”
Although Central Health administration has undergone previous reviews, Fleming said the ombudsman’s review and recommendations carry more weight.
“We are an independent ombudsman of the legislature of the House of Assembly,” he said. “We bring a gravitas and independence to the issue that may not have been present in the previous reviews.”
Fleming also mentioned the Department of Health will be made aware of the office’s report.
“At the end of the investigation we make recommendations that are warranted. We will do a lot of work articulating those recommendations to be as persuasive as possible.”
Two independent investigations into Central Health’s administration were announced in the same week after complaints from staff about alleged mismanagement and unfair treatment.