Ontario Health Coalition

Ontario Health Coalition

June 26, 2008 15:15 ET

Axing of Kingston Hospital CEO Abuse of Power by McGuinty Government: Ontario Health Coalition

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 26, 2008) -


The Ontario Health Coalition responded with dismay at the public announcement by the McGuinty government that it will replace Kingston General Hospital's CEO and takeover the hospital with a provincially appointed supervisor. The Kingston Hospital has been campaigning since the last provincial election to address a serious funding shortfall that threatens local hospital services.

"The lesson for hospital CEOs across Ontario is that if you advocate to protect your community services you risk being fired by the McGuinty government. It's an abuse of power," said Natalie Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health Coalition.

"In its bid to meet the local community's needs for services, the leadership of the Kingston General Hospital has engaged in measurements and best practices and has jumped through every hoop that the provincial government has set. They have had peer review after peer review, they have made a strong case for the need for the province to review the funding formula for Kingston, The criticism levelled by the province is a thin disguise for the muzzling of a vocal community hospital advocate," said Ms. Mehra.

"Replacing our CEO and local Board of Directors, who have stood up for our community, with a Supervisor working for the Ministry will not solve KGH's problems. Funding to meet health needs in the Kingston area and the services expected from our regional hospital will. Even the investigators report recognizes this," said Kingston Health Coalition co-chair Ross Sutherland.

"It is poor governance on the part of the provincial government to undermine local leadership who raise legitimate concerns about provincial policy. It is neither in the interest of the Kingston community nor of any community facing a significant hospital deficit and service cuts to allow the provincial government to misuse its power for political goals," Ms. Mehra said.

"We held a town hall meeting last autumn in which local MPP John Gerretsen was not well briefed on the hospital's budget situation and was unable to answer any concerns substantively or specifically. I hope that he has had a chance to look further into KGHs situation and will now stand up for our health needs," said Mr. Sutherland.

The Ontario Health Coalition is joining in calls for citizens to put pressure on MPP Gerretsen to protect KGH from cuts in services and loss of services to the region by calling, faxing and emailing the MPP.

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