A medical system in trouble


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Despite tough economic times, it would appear that when it come to medical leadership, Grey-Bruce Counties have been held over the 'proverbial barrel'.

Dr. Hazel Lynn, Medical Officer of Health for Grey-Bruce Health Unit, is getting a hefty pay raise that will see her salary raised to $275,000 from $203,000.  What's more is that it is retroactive to April and does not include expenses and benefits.

The province has called for all medical officers of health to be paid between $235,000 and $275,000 and, in the case of Dr. Lynn, the province will fund the raise until 2012.

While Grey-Bruce could have opted out of the provincial agreement and kept Lynn's salary at her earnings of just over $200,000, the Board of Health decided that the raise was warranted.  The health board felt that if Lynn did not receive the raise, she had two options - move to a health unit that would meet the raise in salary or go back into private practice.

It would appear that, at every turn, the health system is between a rock and hard place. Doctors are 'persuaded' to take up rural practice through tantalizing lifestyle agreements,  Medical Health Officers are being offered salaries that mere mortals can only envy and Local Health Integrated Networks (LHINS) employees are also paid substantial salaries to make decisions that can bring a halt to services in rural hospitals.  It is all in the name of 'health evolution'.

Regardless of the dollars spent, they come out of one pocket - that of the taxpayer. 

It is no wonder that the health system is in financial difficulty.




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Wednesday, December 23, 2009