Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mass Resignations From MUHC a Good Start

When I read the story of the mass resignation of the independent members of the MUHC hospital board of directors my reaction wasn't one that most people would have.
“The 10 independent members of the board of directors of the McGill University Health Centre resigned en masse Monday, saying they have been hamstrung by Quebec Health Minister GaĆ©tan Barrette.
The departures of more than half of the 19 board members followed a wave of public criticisms Barrette levelled at the MUHC for its chronic failure to rein in its deficits.
The board said it cannot function effectively with a health minister who threatens trusteeship and refuses to speak to them directly.
“He considers us an impediment. Our only interest is what is best for the MUHC and the community. It’s better that we resign,” board member Glenn Rourke told the Montreal Gazette of the official decision made earlier in the day “with much regret.”
The board represented the community and its expertise, “it was a good board,” Rourke said. “But the real power lies with the minister. The board couldn’t even name its chair or CEO.” Link
What shocked me was the bloated makeup of the board, with nineteen members, an unworkable number, a utter recipe for disaster especially since the members were voluntary, which actually makes things worse.
Now the average corporate board of directors is made up of between seven and eleven members with experts mostly agreeing that around eight members is the perfect number. Anything more and things inevitably bog down with each member trying to be heard.
Make no mistake, the more people involved in a decision, the worse the result.

The MUHC's nineteen board members is representative of the bloated bureaucratic mess that is the Quebec health system.
I have had some experience as a volunteer board member and can tell you that the experience was more than disappointing with so many unqualified voices around the table, all putting in their two cents, making every decision a long-drawn out affair that by nature precluded any bold or innovative initiative.
Volunteer board members are by nature ineffective, self-important blowhards where cronyism and mutual masturbation sessions the norm rather than the exception. Bah!!

The mass resignations have spawned a new crop of wannabees who are making their way to the forefront, all wanting a piece of the action.
The hospital union is demanding three seats on the board and I can only imagine the agenda they would bring to the table where the union member's interests would be placed before the good of the hospital akin to the lunatics running the asylum.
The solution?
Get rid of the board of directors completely. They are useless and redundant. The government pays for the operation of the hospitals and should run them themselves without the interference of an
amateur board of directors.
The same goes for school commissions that burn through money spent on a useless administrative layer that contributes nothing to the well-being of students. The baloney argument that our English school boards somehow protect our Anglo rights is a joke, where actually these commissions are awash with corruption, incompetence and intrigue. Good riddance!

The resigned board members of the MUHC objected to the minister's demand that they live within their budget, demanding meetings to plead their case, the entreaties which fortunately fell on deaf ears.

Make no mistake, bloated hospital administration is strangling the delivery of health care in Quebec and the revelation that Quebec has the worst emergency room response in the entire western world is a disgrace that is entirely the responsibility of idiot administrators, the MUHC board included.

It isn't as if Quebec spends less than other provinces on health care or that we have fewer doctors and nurses, we actually have more doctors per capita than Ontario. So it is the administration that is the disaster that our health care system faces.

Health minister Barette has demanded that the MUHC live within its budget, something easily enough accomplished if the interminable layers of bloated administration fat are pared back.

On my last trip to the hospital I was advised that I needed to secure a hospital ID card in order to receive treatment and so I trundled off to the office that issued these cards.
My question to the issuing clerk was what exactly is the raison d'etre of the card, since I had a perfectly good Quebec medicare card with an individualized ID number that could easily be used for my file.
Now the hospital card did not have a chip that had some sort of important patient information stored, it was a plain dumb card that just had an individual number that linked me to my hospital file.  But I already had a medicare ID number issued by the government that could easily be used. It's just really a number.
One medicare number and another hospital number. Does that make sense to you?

It is the same idiocy that requires students in our universities to secure an extra library card in order to borrow books, in addition to their university student ID, which could for all intents and purposes be used for lending purposes just fine.

This is bureaucracy, Quebec style. It is the real cancer destroying our healthcare.


  1. #1... The Jewish General Hospital has the same requirement for a separate ID card!! Why did you ignore that well known fact during your one-sided rant ??

    #2... You would rather allow the Corrupt NeoLiberal Quebec Liberal party to dictate our Rights in a hospital serving the English community, without any oversight from our community.... Since when have you become so trusting of ANY Quebec government doing the right thing where our community is concerned??? Name ONE instance when the Quebec Liberal party has EVER done the right thing to protect the English Community!!!

    #3)... Generally I would always favor Government regulation over Privatization.... But in "Through the Looking Glass" Quebec... without direct Community involvement, you would be trowing away our future, because sure as day follows Night, the QLP will be removed from government, and the Next Party to gain power may be even worse... and You will have opened the door to their total control.

    #4)... Besides, it is my understanding that the Problems caused by the Budgetary issue is the Austerity so favored by Conservatives (like the QLP).. and if any Policy must be totally discredited Globally, it is the fallacy of Austerity.. a policy that has brought Riches to the 1%, while We the People pay for it with our lives!!! (Hmm... Now what blogger is part of the 1% here??)

  2. Interestingly catty comment Comic Surfer. Since the story Philip was writing about involved the MUHC, it made sense that that was the separate ID card that he referred to. Not mentioning the JHG is not necessarily the same as ignoring it. By all means, though, feel free to do the the research and give us a list of all the other hospitals in the province where the same waste takes place. I'd be interested in seeing it.

  3. The board should be there to represent the stakeholders, essentially the community the hospital serves. Since it is a non profit, a whole new dynamic comes into play much different than for-profit corporate BoDs that focus on quarterly performance. Ideally it should be composed of a mix of healthcare professionals, community leaders and management experts. We have a chance to reshape how healthcare done in our city for the better. Let's hope they seize the opportunity.