A University of Windsor professor who has expertise in public policy says CEOs at Ontario's hospitals could be undercompensated for their work.

Hospitals are now required by law to release more information to the public, including board minutes, financial plans and executive contracts, including wages, benefits and other perqs. The change took effect Jan 1.

Local hospital CEO salaries range between $175,000 and $294,000. Some include car allowances.

"There’s certainly nothing unreasonable about them. They seem to be ... if nothing else even a bit low when compared to other salary positions," professor Lidya Miljan said. "Had these people been in the private sector, they would be making way more than that."

Local hospital CEOs earn the following annual wages:

  • Sue Denomy, Sarnia's Bluewater Health — $294,000
  • Colin Patey, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance — $280,000 
  • David Musyj, Windsor Regional  Hospital — $265,000
  • John Stenger, Leamington District Memorial Hospital — $175,000 (2010)

"The public does need to compensate them fairly to get the best possible people," Miljan said.

At Windsor Regional Hospital, Musyj also receives a $10,000 car allowance.

Denomy had her base pay reduced two per cent to approximately $294,000 on April 1, 2011. The reduction was based on Bluewater's pay for performance plan.

Ken Deane is the provincially-appointed hospital supervisor at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital in Windsor. His salary is not disclosed by the hospital, but rather the Ministry of Health.

Stenger also had the possibility of a five per cent bonus, based on performance, and also receives a $500 car allowance each month.

Miljan said that while hospital CEOs make more than an average employee, the public needs to realize upper management has a lot more responsibility, demands and increased stress.

"My bigger concern is not what one individual CEO makes. It’s how large is the senior administration?" Miljan said.

That, too, is now public information. Hospitals must also disclose the contracts of senior administrators such as vice-presidents and chiefs of staff.

By comparison, the region's CEO salaries are on par with other cities of comparable size.

Richard Ernst at Guelph General Hospital made $304,000 in 2010. He also received seven weeks vacation. Jerome Quennville of Groves Memorial Hospital in Fergus, Ont., makes approximately $202,000 each year and receives six weeks vacation.

Bonnie Adamson is the president and CEO of London Health Sciences. She makes $495,000 a year and also receives a $16,800 car allowance and $705 in paid parking.