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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bureaucracy at it's best 
(en francais)

Ever wonder where your new health tax dollars are going? Seen any improvement in local health care recently? You can dump all the money you want into a single-payer system and the result will still be the same. When you're not spending your own money, the sky is the limit when designing new programs and facilities.

I wonder what the difference would be if the Ministry of Health issued a competitive bid for establishing new local health teams? Personally I think it would be at least half the cost and already up and running. New buildings, nice furniture, top of the line computer systems, nice signage and all the other perks. I'm sure they're all there in the planning for these facilities, but the question remains, are they really needed to develop the service?

The more that people buy into the myth that private services equal "American style" health care, the more they will be denied quality health care. I wish someone would have paid me $70,000 to develop the business plan for my endeavour. In the real world businesses gladly invest this money in order to compete for new business. But I digress. In Canada, innovative business has taken on the image of a nasty four letter word. Welcome to the ever expanding nanny state!
Family health teams tardy(subscriber only)
Roberta Pennington, Windsor Star
Published: Saturday, March 18, 2006

Nearly a year after Harrow and Leamington were approved for provincial funding to start family health care centres, progress has been sluggish, the chairman of the Harrow Family Health Team board said Friday.

"The community of Harrow is very disillusioned about where these family health teams are going," said Mike Munger, chairman of the Harrow Family Health Team Inc. "We're starting to believe that the ministry does not want to fund these things."

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced in 2004 it would spend $117 million to help start 150 family health teams provincewide. The teams are meant to "improve patient access to health care by expanding the number and variety of health professionals," in a community, says the Ministry of Health's website.

In April, the ministry announced that 69 family health teams, including Leamington and Harrow, had been approved for funding. Since then, another 31 teams have been selected.

To date, Harrow and Leamington have each received about $70,000 to develop a business plan for their health centres, which they submitted in November and October, respectively.

But, says ministry spokesman Jenna LeBlanc, the plans submitted by the two municipalities were too grandiose.

"Right now Harrow has indicated they want to construct a whole new building to house the FHT, but the ministry's position ... is that we'd like them to start small with a much more phased implementation based on real-growth and patient enrolment as opposed to building first," LeBlanc said.

Leamington's case is similar. There, the team proposed hiring a staff whose size the ministry said was greater than the present need for patient enrolment, according to LeBlanc.

MPP Bruce Crozier said despite these hurdles, the plan is still on track. LeBlanc agreed, saying the ministry's goal is to have the health centres operating in 2007 or 2008.

Crozier said he has set up a meeting March 30 between the minister of health and the local health team leaders to work out their differences.

"It takes time," Crozier said. "It takes longer than I would have liked, but that's what we're trying to move ahead in the next week or so."

Paul Synnott at 5:25 AM    | en francais | Go to Top|


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