CKHA Reprimanded In Ministry Report

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Sydenham Campus ER in Wallaceburg. (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

The Ministry of Health will be appointing a supervisor to steer the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s governance and administration back on track.

This after a report from Ministry Investigator Bonnie Adamson, who was selected to probe disagreements between the CKHA’s three hospital boards in June. The Public General Hospital (PGH), St. Joseph’s Hospital (SJH) and Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) Boards have not had a formal meeting together since March 31, 2016.

In her report, Adamson says, “The PGH and SJH Boards and the Alliance leadership failed to recognize the vital role that the SDH’s Emergency Department and the physicians provide to the Wallaceburg and Walpole First Nations communities.”

That’s a reference to the two Chatham boards’ rumoured plan to convert the SDH Emergency Department into an “emergency access centre.”

“By implementing the proposed change, the SDH Emergency Department would close and de facto, the SDH Hospital would close,” the report says.

The investigation saw 59 interviews conducted with 66 individuals involved in the matter. Adamson says she also sought the advice of  financial, governance and medical experts when making her decision.

The report points to growing financial concerns at the hospital, and includes some suggestions to address them. The CKHA has been operating without an approved budget for this fiscal year, and structural charts show 50 leadership positions beyond the CEO.

Adamson says the hospital could save money by cutting some of those positions.

Going forward, Adamson believes the differences between the three boards are “irreconcilable,” and the current Alliance directors would serve as “barriers” to any solutions. Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins has approved Adamson’s recommendation to have a supervisor “restore robust governance and administrative/clinical leadership” at the CKHA.

Adamson’s full report can be read here.

The Sydenham District Hospital Board is slated to have a meeting Wednesday night at the hospital, where they’ll discuss the report’s recommendations.


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