Auditor General’s investigation needed to curb health authority’s million dollar appetite for consultants

News release

BCHC NEWS RELEASE

A provincial Medicare advocacy group is calling on the auditor general to investigate a $1.37 million consulting tab racked up by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority for advice on how to cut services.

And the BC Health Coalition is demanding that the health services minister rein in the boards he’s put in charge of the province’s health authorities for a recent series of questionable spending decisions.

The call for an independent investigation comes on the heels of reports that the VCHA paid $1 million to the Boston Consulting Group for two months of work, and another $375,000 to the firm Deloitte Touche, for advice on how to cut costs.

“How can this health authority justify a million dollar plus consulting binge in the face of cuts to seniors’ care, hospital closures and the layoff of more than a thousand front-line health care workers?” says BCHC coordinator Terrie Hendrickson.

“It’s time for an accounting for this health authority board’s spending priorities. That’s why we need an independent investigation by the auditor general’s office of these contracts to determine whether they provide value for money.”

Hendrickson says Health Services Minister Colin Hansen needs to get his health authority boards under control after a recent spending spree that included $125,000 in logo development, a nine-month severance package for a hospital administrator who was on the job for just nine months and a $75,000 bill for 10 months of expenses for a health authority CEO.

“The minister argues that it is the individual health authorities’ responsibility to decide how to deliver health care,” says Hendrickson. “But it’s obvious that our health care is taking a back seat to their obsession with budgets, branding and the bottom-line.”

— 30 —