A confrontation that had to happen
  By Liz Dadson

A happy little gathering of health care stakeholders turned into an ugly affair Friday in Kincardine after the presentation of a letter by the Kincardine Physicians Group, recommending the hospital board (South Bruce Grey Health Centre) dismiss its chief executive officer, Paul Davies.

People appeared shocked; in fact, the chairman of the board, John Haggerty, said he was disgusted with the whole episode. And he was quoted as saying that the doctors had no business presenting that letter at the forum because they have never been refused the opportunity to bring their concerns to the board.

Well, apparently, someone isn't telling the truth here, because the two doctors who brought the whole matter forward have done so, citing the simple fact that they had no other recourse - and the doctors at the other three sites: Walkerton, Chesley and Durham, feel the same way.

They are all of the opinion that the CEO has done a lousy job of meeting the needs of this community. In the case of the Kincardine doctors, the CEO has failed to support the Kincardine hospital and that was no more obvious than with the loss of outpatient physiotherapy in order to save money.

The letter to the hospital board says that there is incomplete, inaccurate or misrepresented information floating about and decisions are being made based on that information, adversely affecting or threatening physiotherapy, laboratory, mammography and emergency services.

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13/01/2009 04:24 PM

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The doctors are concerned about Davies' style of management, saying it is intimidating and borders on bullying, and there is little respect for hardworking individuals at the hospital. They have lost confidence in him and recommended he be dismissed.

Once you get past the "shock" and "disgust" effect of this letter, it's easy to see why it had to be presented this way. If the doctors can't get any answers from the CEO and the hospital board, where does that leave John Q. Public?

Years ago, people in this community fought to keep the Kincardine hospital open. They have donated toward medical equipment for that hospital. They have put money into a medical clinic to retain and recruit doctors - and it has been somewhat successful.

The hospital board must do an investigation of its own into what has caused this major rift between the doctors and the CEO. The board can't just sit on its laurels and depend on documentation from Davies. It must do its own legwork.
Otherwise, it's no better than the public utility commission in Walkerton that depended on its staff, which resulted in the terrible water contamination tragedy of 2000.
Medical professionals don't just decide on a whim to make a stink at a health care forum. They are worried.

And we should be too