Health boss’ taxpayer-funded junket to France deserves full public investigation by Liberals

News release

HEU wants full disclosure of how much taxpayers’ money Victoria has spent sending other top health administrators to study in France

Revelations that a senior B.C. health care administrator received thousands of dollars of public health care funding to cover the costs of a management training program in Grenoble, France, may not be an isolated incident, and that’s why B.C.’s largest health care union is calling on health minister Colin Hansen to undertake a full investigation.

On Friday, the Province newspaper reported that the Northern Health Authority paid thousands of dollars to one of its top administrators to cover expenses for a three week course in the French Alps resort town. According to the published report, that executive was given a pink slip by the Liberals’ Northern Health Authority soon after her return from France.

“These revelations will shake public confidence in how the Liberals are managing our health care system,” says Chris Allnutt, secretary-business manager of the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE). “When you look at it as a question of priorities, what’s happened is scandalous.

“There’s no money for home support, services are being privatized to cut wages, and seniors are being forcibly removed from their homes in long-term care facilities to cut costs. And now we find out that there’s money to send bosses to France?”

In a letter to Hansen sent Friday, Allnutt urged the Liberals to get to the bottom of the scandal and to identify other top health authority executives for whom B.C. taxpayers may have paid the bill for foreign field trips to places like France.

And he says his union wants Hansen to order a full investigation into the NHA field trips to France scandal, and tell British Columbians how much money was spent on the junket. He also demanded that Victoria disclose:

  • how much money health authorities are spending on so called management training courses offered by Royal Roads University;
  • the names of health authority executives taking these courses;
  • the names of all executives who have received funding to study outside the province, and the amount of public funding that they’ve received.
-30- Contact: Stephen Howard, communications director 604-240-8524