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The sudden resignation of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority CEO Phil Hassen this morning is a sign of the chaos that’s enveloped B.C.’s health care system because of the policies of the Campbell government, says the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE).

“We’ve already been through three CEOs in one health region in the last three months, and now the top executive of B.C.’s largest health authority has jumped ship,” says HEU spokesperson Chris Allnutt.

“It’s a sign of the mounting instability taking shape at the top leadership levels of the health system,” says Allnutt. “Clearly it’s linked to the Campbell Liberal’s agenda for health care that will force administrators to implement deep cuts to health services for British Columbians.

“It appears that administrators like Hassen are uncomfortable with having to front such an extreme agenda,” says Allnutt, who added that his union had developed a challenging but reasonably positive relationship with Hassen over the years.

“His departure provides a razor-sharp critique of our provincial government. Given a choice between Mike Harris’ Ontario and Gordon Campbell’s B.C., Hassen chose to move east. That’s a sign of how bad things are here.

“Clearly, the only thing for the Campbell government to do is put on hold its plans for hospital closures, deep service cuts, privatization and widespread job cuts.”

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Contact: Stephen Howard, director of communications 604-240-8524