Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

August 20, 2009 17:24 ET

OPSEU: Gross eHealth Payouts Trump Local Mental Health Services

BROCKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2009) - Health Minister David Caplan would rather misuse revenues on over-priced consultants at eHealth than retain local mental health services in communities like Brockville, claims the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

The Transitional Treatment Unit at Brockville Mental Health Centre has been slated for closure March 31, 2011.

"Ontario's Health Minister says he is committed to quality mental health services in Ontario, but that is obviously not the case," says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "David Caplan has been more committed to pumping millions of dollars into wasteful eHealth consultants than he is to preserving vitally needed mental health beds in Brockville." Thomas points to $16 million in untendered eHealth contracts, a $25,000 speech and the use of $3,000 a day consultants as examples of money that would be better spent on patient services in mental health.

Thomas has pressed the government to delay any closures at Brockville Mental Health Centre until the full impact of this move can be examined. Yet Royal Ottawa Hospital President George Weber wants to push the closures as quickly as possible. "George Weber says that delaying this closure won't make any difference," Thomas said. "He is wrong. Another year will keep quality jobs in the Brockville economy, and provide mental health care in the area that would otherwise be lost."

The closure of 64 transitional treatment beds will result in the loss of 136 full-time equivalent positions, but, in reality, affects many more workers in casual and part-time positions.

Thomas is demanding that Health Minister Caplan stops hemorrhaging tax dollars on consultants and do the right thing for the people of Brockville. "Start spending the money where it will actually do some good," Thomas said.

OPSEU represents over 400 members working at Brockville Mental Health Centre.

Contact Information

    Sonia Boudreau
    Staff Rep
    (613) 739-9101 Ext.5446
    OPSEU Communications
    Sue Dafoe
    (416) 443-8888 Ext.8387
    OPSEU Local 439
    David McDougall
    (613) 349-1049