BC Liberals

Failing healthcare managers still paid handsomely

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.

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See also More not-net-zero reality

Categories: BC Liberals, Health

10 replies »

  1. There has been a woman living in Nanaimo hospital for over a year while highly paid VIHA executives cannot figure out what to do.


    VIHA also hired the husband of a Liberal insider without following the proper process, and then lied about what happened when caught. Once again, no one lost their job.


    And people think unions protect the incompetent. Executives have looking after their own down to an art.


  2. All these Regional Health Authorities have become ” old boys and girls ” clubs where administrators and managers are free to carve out their own little empires to make themselves look indespensable. They have driven up costs, cut beds and made getting well after an illness or surgery a side effect.Here in Kamloops, IHA has taken a great hospital and turned it into a pathetic shadow of its former self. Then the admistrator has the balls to cry about overcrowding.
    These authorities need to disappear and at the very least go back to the way it used to be, think of the money that would free up for patients !


  3. Bob Smith is probably at UBC teaching future executives about double dipping and how to negotiate the best possible severance deals from public service employers. He was one of the best

    Remember the days when working for government paid less than the private sector?


  4. Like the anon above at 7:39, I am served (to use the term loosely) by the IHA, officially the Interior Health Authority, more accurately the INFERIOR HEALTH AUTHORITY. This bureaucratic waste of space runs health care from Kamloops, through the Okanagan and through the Kootenays to the Alberta border.

    Locally here in the Kootenays they managed in the first year or two under the new structure to close both the Kimberley Hospital and the formerly well equipped, centrally located and busy hospital in Castlegar. They reduced the former Kaslo Hospital to essentially a first aid station, downgraded the formally great hospital in Nelson and for the most part made it necessary for residents to drive hours through the snow on mountain roads for much more than advice to take an aspirin and go to bed. Anything more complex requires a trip to Trail, in the extreme southwest corner of the district or worse yet a trip over the Monashee to the usually code purple overcrowded Kelowna General.

    Meanwhile the old hospital building in Castlegar serves as a office building for unproductive IHA executives/drones constantly devising new ways to cut services to the local populace. They come up with really efficient, sensible schemes, like closing geriatric wards in Kelowna (the city in Canada with the LARGEST percentage of seniors) and driving most if not all of the geriatric specialists in Kelowna out of province to Alberta or Ontario, where they are in great demand, even though those areas have less need for the specialty.

    But don't feel bad for the assholes of the IHA, thanks to their success in closing more wards and even complete hospitals than any other regional authority, thus saving the Campbelloids the most money, the Inferior execs earned the largest bonuses in the first couple years of Gordo's scorched earth attack on health care in the Hurtland – kinda like getting to keep what they withhold from those to whom they are supposed to be providing services! But hey, wouldn't everyone rather have their MSP premiums and tax dollars pay useless bureaucrats grossly inflated salaries than provide care for sick folks? I always hoped the Gordo would suffer some accident when he rarely visited our riding, and be required to rely on our vastly reduced service and wait for an ambulance to come from some town maybe a hundred miles away to take him to a hosptial 200-300 miles away, preferably in winter…………

    Mind you the last time I recall that creep (the Gordo) coming here, he went to Castlegar (to the mill that supplied some wood for the speed skating oval for the Owelympics, but almost no one even knew he was coming or was here until he was gone, including the mayor of Castlegar…..needless to say, the Gord was and is especially unpopular in these parts – so the stealth visits were probably necessary from a security perspective!


  5. Some people claim that public healthcare is “not sustainable” and it seems people running the system are trying to ensure that indeed, healthcare is not sustainable. Greed, greed, greed.


  6. I guess when they dump Nigel Murray as CEO, he'll set a new record for severance pay. When they replace him with CEO No. 7, that person will have to earn even more money. We must be prepared to pay if we want to compete in the marketplace. Right.

    Actually, if Murray were a British civil servant, he would rank among the highest paid of all. Brits may be dumb but not as dumb as Canadians.


  7. I live Coquitlam and any news regarding Fraser Health catches my attention, especially during a televised news broadcast. I am just amazed that whenever a bad news story comes along, which is all too often for my liking, there seems to be a different administrative talking head before the cameras. It's as if there may be more administrators than actual health care workers.

    There was an article in the Globe & Mail that stated that the BC government clawed back $7 million from some health authorities that didn't make certain targets regarding select procedures. At first blush I thought that this may have been a good thing to do to get the attention of the administrators to up their game. After thinking about it for a bit, I came to a total different viewpoint. If these administrators failed to perform as expected, shouldn't some of them have paid with the loss of their jobs? And who do these clawbacks really punish? As far as I'm concerned the punishment will be felt Joe and Jane Sixpack while the architects of these failures will continue to make out like bandits.


  8. I share your hate of the IHA. I just retired after over 30 years in health care in the US and Canada and the IHA is BY FAR the WORST employer and most dysfunctional “health” organization I have seen.
    They closed half the beds in the region and entire hospitals but still cost the taxpayer more each and every year. Why? Because of the enormous administration and PR focus of Inferior Health. Actual health care is almost irrelevant to the Bozo's running it.
    The senior administrators of the IHA are like piggies at a never ending trough, giving themselves huge salaries, pensions and expense accounts and a golden handshake.
    Meanwhile it's zero zero and zero for everyone else
    BC should follow Alberta's lead and get rid of the wasteful top heavy organizations run by an administrative team that couldn't run a corner store.


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