The B.C. government replaced the head of the Fraser Health Authority on Friday— in the second change of management at a provincial health authority in two days as a battle over funding heats up.
Fraser Health Authority chair Keith Purchase resigned Friday. His departure comes just two days after the firing of Vancouver Coastal Health Authoritychair Trevor Johnstone.
Johnstonewas fired by Health Minister George Abbott, who was upset byabudget crunch and the way it was handled by the health authority.
The VCHA shut down operating rooms last week to reduce its deficit by the end of fiscal year on March 31, but quickly backtracked when the plans became public.
Purchase said one reason he quit was anger over the firing,calling Johnstonea victim of the provincial government's inability to provide appropriate health funding.
Abbott said Purchase had complained about a plan by the provincial government's plan to increase funding by seven per cent next year, saying it wasnot enough.
Purchase was replaced by former Terasen Gas executive Gordon Barefoot.
In 2005, the Fraser Health Authority lost another top executive when CEO Bob Smith was fired following months ofhighly publicized problems at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
The FHA covers a huge area of the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley—all the way from the Burnaby to Hope. It has 12 acute-care hospitals and had an annual budget of $1.8 billion in 2005-06.