(WINDSOR, ON) – Our area hospitals are accountable for funding via agreements with the Local Health Integration Network. The agreements dictate that the hospitals are held accountable for performance outcomes.
The accountability agreement contains obligations on the part of the hospitals and funding flows to the hospitals from the Ministry of Health based on the successful outcomes of the agreement. One such performance outcome is the achievement of a minimum number of admissions each year.
The Ministry is the single largest source of hospital funding. Extra funding can then be generated through other revenue streams such as parking fees, the sale of on-site food, and charitable giving from private donors. Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj recently told media that local funding has dropped by $20 million over the last two years.
Musyj alludes to the area’s declining population as the reason for the drop in funding. In order to meet the difference between funding and operational costs, Windsor Regional Hospital has embarked on a program of service reductions.
In January, WRH announced the layoffs of 166 staff positions, including about 80 registered nurses. In conjunction, Musyj suggested that an equivalent number of registered practical nurses would be hired at a $7 per hour cost savings.
Additionally, it has been learned that the diabetes clinic at WRH is closing with the loss of employment for eight nurses. In the wake of an obesity epidemic in Canada, Windsor has seen a rise in Type II diabetes to the point where as much as 10.6% of the population is afflicted. The elimination of this service from WRH flies in the face of providing Windsor with the treatments needed by residents.
The WRH CEO is also a member of the steering committee recommending the building of a $2 Billion hospital for a declining population, which will house fewer beds than currently offered in the region. Additionally, the plan calls for the destruction of the Metropolitan and Ouellette campuses after at least $500 million in upgrades and renovations over the past few years.
The strange element in the mix is that Musyj sees his salary increase steadily since taking over as CEO in 2007. When the best solution to fight a funding drop is to layoff experienced health care providers, with a resulting savings of $7/hr, Musjy has enjoyed an increase in salary of 107% over the past eight years.
The WRH staffer topped out the Windsor-area Sunshine List at $420,469 last year after being taken on as CEO at a paltry $202,229 in 2007. But, the best course of action is to remove well-paying jobs from the local economy and services from those who need them.
There is a provision in the accountability agreements for performance-based criteria between the hospital and the CEO. It is time that Musyj is held accountable for his part in the declining standard of health care in Windsor.
Ian Shalapata can be heard at noon every Thursday co-hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor on CJAM 99.1 FM. Listen on demand to previous episodes or catch the discussion live and join in. It is also streamed online at CJAM.