Doctors vow to take back Royal Columbian ER, Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun, February 7, 2012
“Emergency-room doctors at Royal Columbian hospital served notice to administrators Monday they will no longer assess patients in hallways or other areas with insufficient privacy and equipment to do a thorough examination.
“The doctors’ statement comes as the Fraser Health Authority convenes a panel of outside experts to weigh in on what can be done to address the frequent overcrowding plaguing the region’s two busiest hospitals, Royal Columbian and Surrey Memorial, despite a strategy introduced last fall to address it.”
Problems within the Fraser Health Authority are so unyielding that six consultants are now to be tasked with finding a solution to overcrowding that has faced the region’s hospitals for years. The unfortunate fact for taxpayers is that while paying consultants to hunt for solutions, we’ll continue to pay indulgent salaries to FHA’s entire management crowd, the people bewildered by long-standing problems.
In British Columbia, most public servants are told that pay raises are “out of touch with the net zero reality.” That message is repeated by the Liberal Party’s media shills but the phrase never gets said in the boardrooms of government agencies or crown corporations.
Fraser Health Authority is a good example of the double standard. In 2008, the FHA’s top 10 earners averaged $250,950 in remuneration and personal expenses. Three years later, that average had grown to $304,775, a 21% increase that amounts to an extra $4,485 monthly on average. Compare that to the treatment of paramedics in British Columbia.
Staff expense amounts show another example of a double standard. Numbers clearly demonstrate that senior management have been disciplined in controlling expenses of ordinary employees but comparatively undisciplined with their own. These graphs are prepared from information contained in FHA annual reports. They are self-explanatory but of course the number of employees earning below $75,000 is far more than the number earning above that amount.
In addition to generous salaries, high level executives are provided with near unconditional severance agreements. Those deals result in massive payouts, even if the individual begins work immediately in another government funded organization. Robert Smith, for example left Lions Gate Hospital with a huge settlement, worked elsewhere, including for Vancouver General Hospital, until he was hired as CEO of Fraser Health. He was fired again with another six-figure settlement and soon joined UBC’s Sauder School of Business. Compare that to treatment of a contracted-out cleaner discharged after 25-years with little more than good wishes.
Fraser Health has had six CEO’s in the last decade: Pat Zanon, Lynda Cranston, Robert Smith, Keith Anderson, Betty Ann Busse and Nigel Murray. In the fiscal year of 2009, Anderson, Busse and Murray were all drawing salaries, a total that soared over a million dollars for the three of them.
Friends take care of friends. That, unfortunately is how BC Liberals conduct business today.
By the way, CBC News did not present this information. They continue their record of unbiased reporting.
See also More not-net-zero reality