Sir: While it is certainly time for all three CKHA Boards to get back to work – on solutions and moving forward with a shared vision – I feel I have to correct the facts stated in the recent letter from the Public General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Board chairs.
Back in May of 2015, when I was chair of the Sydenham District Hospital board, the same argument was put forward that SDH only represents 5% of the services provided by CKHA. I challenged this number and here is what I found out:
- First off, I was told that data on services is very hard to get and the health-care industry is well behind in being able to show this type of precision. To provide any level of detail on users of SDH would be cost and time prohibitive.
- To arrive at the “weighted” 5%, what they did do was for every service that is not performed at SDH, even services we never ever had, they credited Chatham with 100% and SDH with 0%. Remember, this included services never available at SDH. SDH serves a catchment area of over 20,000, including Walpole Island and St. Clair Township. I asked and was told user data specific to these communities was not available.
What they did not tell you in their letter was in fact the most important piece of information – that SDH from 2010 to present continues to provide anywhere from 28 to 32% of all emergency services in C-K. The very service they proposed be cut. The very service they need in order to reduce their own very long emergency wait times.
The CKHA has the second-highest administration costs in all of Ontario for hospitals their size, and some of the longest ER wait times. I suggest the boards train their cost-cutting sights elsewhere and get back to work.
I was told back in May of 2015 when I challenged the 5% that they could not provide me with any substantive detail unless a large expenditure and lots of hours were dedicated to getting the answer. The real question is, did the two Boards expend the dollars to do so or are they merely reiterating the failed arguments from May 2015?
No doubt they will criticize me but I have all of the e-mails and documents.