Re­port blames man­age­ment for poor ser­vice

Gatineau health cen­tre plagued by stressed staff, deficit Hu­mane so­ci­ety sets date for new poli­cies

Ottawa Citizen - - City - BY DAVE ROGERS

Two re­ports com­mis­sioned by the Que­bec min­istry of health blame the man­age­ment of the Cen­tre de santé et des ser­vices so­ci­aux de Gatineau for fi­nan­cial waste and poor ser­vice de­liv­ery at hos­pi­tals, clin­ics and se­niors’ homes.

A re­port by Dr. Mathias Kalina and Gra­ti­enne La­marche of McGill Univer­sity con­demns mud­dled man­age­ment and in­ter­nal con­flict at the health and so­cial ser­vices agency.

A sec­ond re­port, by Mon­treal man­age­ment con­sul­tants Ray­mond Chabot Grant Thorn­ton, said agency of­fi­cials didn’t see an ur­gent need to bal­ance the cen­tre’s bud­get.

The agency was cre­ated in 2004 to man­age the merged Gatineau and Hull hos­pi­tals, three clin­ics and so­cial ser­vices cen­tres and four se­niors’ homes.

The McGill re­port said ten­sions be­tween doc­tors and health ser­vice man­age­ment re­sulted in in­ter­nal chaos.

The re­port said it was un­ac­cept­able that 30 per cent of pa­tients waited longer than 48 hours in emer­gency rooms be­fore they were ad­mit­ted.

“ There is pal­pa­ble stress among pro­fes­sion­als and staff,” the re­port said. “ The dig­nity and se­cu­rity of pa­tients was some­times com­pro­mised by the con­gested sit­u­a­tion.”

De­nis- Bernard Raiche was the agency’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor un­til three weeks ago, when he left for a job in Mon­treal. The agency has ap­pointed Jean- Pierre Chicoine, the for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tor of Ste- Jus­tine Hospi­tal in Sher­brooke, for a four­month term to elim­i­nate an es­ti­mated $ 8.5- mil­lion deficit in a $ 250- mil­lion bud­get and im­prove med­i­cal care in Gatineau.

Martin St. Louis, a spokesman for the Agence de la santé et des ser­vices so­ci­aux de l’Ou­taouais ( Ou­taouais re­gional health agency), which pro­vides the bud­get for the Gatineau health care cen­tre, said man­age­ment of the Gatineau med­i­cal ser­vice was dis­or­ga­nized and plagued by se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial prob­lems.

“ A ma­jor change was needed in Gatineau and a new gen­eral man­ager is now in place,” Mr. St. Louis said. “ Dur­ing the next four months, Mr. Chicoine will get the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion straight and make sure that the peo­ple of Gatineau get the ser­vices they de­serve.”

De­nis Saint- Jean, a spokesman for the health and so­cial ser­vices agency de­fended the agency, say­ing parts of the re­port that blamed the ad­min­is­tra­tion for the chaos in the health care sys­tem were ex­ag­ger­ated. He said 90 per cent of the rec­om­men­da­tions in the two re­ports have al­ready been im­ple­mented.

Mr. Saint- Jean said the agency will bal­ance its bud­get in 2007. He said health care man­age­ment will spend money more ef­fi­ciently, but won’t cut ser­vice.

“ Wait times in emer­gency rooms have been im­proved since May,” Mr. Saint- Jean said. “ Very few peo­ple wait more than 48 hours to be ad­mit­ted into hospi­tal, but Mr. Chicoine says we can still do bet­ter.

“ One of our ma­jor prob­lems is our short­age of nurses and the overuse of agency nurses. A nor­mal nurse earns $ 30 to $ 40 an hour, while a nurse from an agency re­ceives $ 60 an hour.”

There will be a freeze on new hir­ing and the em­ploy­ment of private nurses who re­place nurses who are ill or on vacation. The hos­pi­tals will look for ways to re­duce ab­sen­teeism among nurses and plan to treat more psy­chi­atric pa­tients in the com­mu­nity to re­lieve pres­sure on emer­gency rooms and re­duce costs. The Ottawa Hu­mane So­ci­ety says it hopes to have re­vised op­er­a­tional poli­cies in place by De­cem­ber that will as­sure res­i­dents it pro­vides the best ser­vices to dogs in its care and to the com­mu­nity at large. The move fol­lows an in­ci­dent this sum­mer that found the so­ci­ety at the cen­tre of a storm of con­tro­versy af­ter putting down a stray dog that had failed a be­hav­iour test, al­though a cou­ple wanted to adopt the an­i­mal they’d found roam­ing at large.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.