8 CEO’s +27 VP’s+53 Directors = $10 Million – Bill McQuarrie

Column PicBill McQuarrie

January 13/16

Another multi-million dollar question and as you might suspect and are perhaps sensing a trend, it involves your money.  Here’s the questions:  What organization has 8 CEO’s, 27 Vice-Presidents, 53 board directors and gets over $10,000,000.00 of your provincial tax money each and every year?

The answer – our five Regional Health Authorities, including the Interior Health Authority and you can be forgiven if you are already asking, “didn’t he say eight CEO’s but only five health authorities”?  Good question and I have no idea why we need eight Chief Executive Officers to run five provincial health authorities.  Mind you, neither do I know why we need and pay for 53 directors and 27 Vice Presidents.

This is $10 million that doesn’t go towards direct health services or equipment purchases.  These millions of dollars simply cover salaries, honorariums, expense accounts and administrative support staff for these executives.

I began researching the health authority system for a future column on MSP but stumbled upon these numbers and it made me wonder:  Do we need 5 separate health authorities to manage our healthcare system?  Originally the duties were centralized and managed from the Ministry of Health in Victoria but years ago there was a decision to decentralize.  It was felt the communities and the health services provided would be better served by a local management group.

The goals of the system, which are referred to as the Triple Aim are:

  1. Improving the health of populations
  2. Improving the patient experience of care.
  3. Reducing the per capita cost of health by focusing on quality and the efficiency of health care delivery.

Have these goals been met?  I am of the opinion that as a whole, all three goals remain just that – Goals.  

We have a total of eighty-eight well paid minds in this executive group. They have three pretty straight-forward objectives to meet and we give and have been giving them $10 million a year to achieve those goals.  So it begs the question:  Should we be giving salaries to 8 CEO’s that are in the $300,000 per year range with the balance split up between VP’s and Directors if the goals for their jobs are not being met?  Should we step back and consider bringing the system under control, saving some money in the process and returning full responsibility to the Ministry of Health?

When considering this, keep in mind that since 2009 your MSP premiums have increased by 40%.  To put that into perspective, the total premiums collected this year are likely to exceed that of all corporate taxes collected by the Province.  In other words, we are paying a lot and while doing so remain the only ones in Canada still paying monthly premiums.

In my opinion the $10 Million dollars has not been spent wisely and we need to push the pause button and rethink this decentralized plan.  

On a different topic and answering a couple of questions from last week’s column on City taxes and staffing costs.

To those wondering how many people are employed by the City, the answer is: 752 full time, 118 part time and 117 leisure instructors.  These numbers do not include RCMP or Transit employees.

Also had a few messages asking about Kelowna and how our City’s staffing costs compare to them.  They spend 110% of all property taxes collected on staffing.  Once again and on a percentage basis, Kamloops spends more.

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