Windsor

Emails reveal pandemic showdown between medical officer of health and hospital CEO

Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj begged Dr. Wajid Ahmed to allow paramedics to conduct testing at nursing homes and seniors residences.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed and David Musyj disagreed over testing protocols at nursing homes

David Musyj is the CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital. (CBC)

Emails obtained by CBC News through the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act show that Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj was begging Dr. Wajid Ahmed to authorize EMS paramedics to do COVID-19 testing at nursing homes and seniors residences as cases at the homes began to ramp up.

The 65 pages of emails — first obtained by The Windsor Star — contain heated exchanges between Musyj and Ahmed between March 1 and May 25.

The exchanges reveal a frustrated Musyj begging Ahmed to allow Essex-Windsor EMS paramedics to conduct COVID-19 testing in nursing homes and seniors residences. This after outbreaks had been reported in the homes and deaths had occurred.

Musyj at one point had swabs that he wanted to give to the health unit to pass on to paramedics to do the tests.

But Ahmed was hesitant to authorize it.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed is the medical officer of health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

In heated exchanges between the two men, they disagreed over who should be tested and who should do the testing. There was a thread of emails that showed that testing was scheduled, cancelled and re-scheduled.

Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter was copied on the emails and weighed in, pointing out that colleagues in other cities were doing the testing and he couldn't understand why his paramedics weren't.

Krauter said his paramedics were trained and ready to do the testing.

Ahmed's point of view was that he was focusing on outbreaks and not swabbing asymptomatic people.

He wrote that the best thing was for staff to wear PPE and that the homes can test themselves.

In a May 1 email, Musyj writes about swabs sent to long term care homes.

"I truly do Not want to play this game. People's lives are at risk," he writes

In another email, Ahmed fires back in capital letters with "THIS IS NOT A GAME AND PLEASE DO NOT REMIND ME THAT PEOPLE[S] LIVES ARE AT RISK."

There are times when Ahmed also tells Musyj that his remarks are inappropriate and that he reports to his board and not to Musyj.

CBC News reached out to both Dr. Ahmed and Musyj but neither would provide comment. Bruce Krauter was also unavailable for comment as well.

The email exchange can be viewed in the document below:

Mobile users: View the document
(PDF KB)
(Text KB)
CBC is not responsible for 3rd party content

About the Author

Dale Molnar

Video Journalist

Dale Molnar is an award-winning video journalist at CBC Windsor. He is a graduate of the University of Windsor and has worked in television, radio and print.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now