TORONTO – The Ontario Liberal government has chosen blue-chip corporate executives, business consultants, accountants and other individuals from outside the health care sector to head up the province’s new local health integration networks (LHINs), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has learned.
According to a well-placed source, those selected for appointment include: Daniel Sullivan, the deputy chair of Scotia Capital and former chair of the Toronto Stock Exchange — to the Toronto-Central LHIN board; Georgina Thompson, founder and president of All-Care Health Services, a private duty nursing agency — to the South-East (Kingston area) LHIN; Jack Brewer, a bank auditor — to the Hamilton-Niagara LHIN; and Arthur W. Walker, CEO of numerous companies, chartered accountant and director of a private nursing home — to the Central (North GTA) LHIN.
The Ontario Liberals have provided little concrete information on the LHINs structure, and there has been no broad public consultation on how the networks will alter the delivery of health services. However, the Liberals have been clear that the LHINs will control the funding for most health care services in a region.
In April, the health minister also said part of his transformation plan includes a narrower range of hospital services and the consolidation of some surgeries into new clinics within each LHIN. LHIN boards will be able to implement these cuts in service through their power to fund health care providers and to require them to sign accountability agreements.
“The preponderance of corporate executives and private health service providers among the appointees signals the loss of community control over health care. It also signals the introduction of competition and cost-cutting into what is already the most efficient health care system in the country, and concerns us greatly.
“We believe the LHINs are a vehicle to privatize health care and that the Liberal government is intent on opening health care services to the market, much like the previous Tory government did with home care,” says Michael Hurley, the president of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).
For more information, please contact:
Michael Hurley President, OCHU/CUPE (416) 884-0770
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications (416) 578-8774