David Levine – Turned Loose On Quebec Healthcare

The very best thing The Ottawa Civic Hospital's front-line heallthcare workers said to me about David Levine; was "good riddance".

Alan Hustac, of the Montreal Gazette, wrote on Thursday, February 21, 2002 about David Levine’s “thoughts” to “centralize” Quebec’s hospital labs.

Much to the chagrin of the technicians who operate these labs within the trenches.

I responded to Alan Hustac’s article by sending him the following communication:

Alan: Now that I have lived in Ontario for 16 months, and have had very limited need of healthcare services, I have nonetheless had the opportunity to speak with several “front line” medical providers at the Ottawa Civic Hospital.

And the very best thing they were able to say to me about David Levine; was “good riddance”.

He attempted to do the same “centralization” technique with the Ottawa hospitals as he is “thinking” about doing in Quebec. And as a result, he created enormous red tape, added unbelievable costs ($100 million over budget), and diminished services.

Not to mention how much his policies of “micro-management” lowered the morale of the healthcare providers.

I read in a recent Montreal Gazette article, that some people in Ottawa defended him, and suggested that he did a great job. According to them, it was Premier Mike Harris who was the villain.

But this is not what I have heard from “every” healthcare provider with whom I spoke, who also have a real hate-on for Harris. But according to them, it was all about Levine.

If I am not mistaken, the people whom the Montreal Gazette interviewed concerning David Levine, were the same people responsible for either hiring him, or defending “their” decision to keep him on-board. Their defense of Levine, I am convinced, was more a defense of themselves.

About two years ago, I served on the board of directors of the Lakeshore General Hospital, for less than two months.

It only took one director’s meeting, and many conversations with their healthcare providers; from nursing assistants, to nurses, to doctors, to see how utterly incompetent the system is from the top down. And how utterly futile it was to be sitting on that board.

Subsequently; I handed in my letter of resignation. Why hang around like a bad smell when it is virtually impossible to make a difference?

The people who actually do the grunt work, usually do their jobs extremely well, and under enormous pressure. And then it is people like David Levine, and far too many members of the board, who make their jobs substantially more difficult.

It is curious how Québécois nationalists, like David Levine always cry that big is bad, and how efficient small is, until they get to be in the driver’s seat. Then all of sudden, “centralization” and “micro-management” become their call to arms.

Have fun with David Levine. I am certain he will give you no shortage of things to write about.

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