Health boards too big for public good: NAPE
System working better since amalgamation, minister insists
The largest public service union in Newfoundland and Labrador wants the provincial government to appoint an inquiry into the size of its amalgamated health-care boards.
Carol Furlong, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, said management of the boards is isolated from front-line staff and patients.
"We don't think it's doing the job it was supposed to do," Furlong said of the new board structure. "We think it's unmanageable.… They've been a nightmare for most of the people involved, since they've been put in place."
The Eastern Health regional board alone, for instance, covers the Avalon, Bonavista and Burin Peninsulas, and serves about 290,000 patients— or close to 60 per cent of the province's population.
With 12,000 workers, it is the largest direct employer in Newfoundland and Labrador, and manages seven hospitals, six community centres and clinics and other services over a wide geographic area.
Furlong wrote to the Newfoundland and Labrador government on Tuesday to ask for a review. She is suggesting a panel that would consist of an independent chair, a member of the public and a worker representative.
Health Minister Ross Wiseman, though, said there is no need for any such review.
He told CBC News on Wednesday that the system now is seamless, and that public services have improved because of the merger.