As private not-for-profit corporations, Ontario’s hospitals are not normally subject to review by the Ombudsman’s office – a point Andre Marin has made over and over as he attempts to wrestle for jurisdiction of the MUSH sector – municipalities, universities, school boards and hospitals.
However, when the Ministry takes over a hospital, as it did with the appointment of Kevin Smith last August 31st, the rules change.
To date, the Ombudsman has received 79 complaints about Niagara Health System, but says he has not begun an investigation. According to the Niagara’s Bullet News, the Ombudsman’s office has been looking at each complaint and raising issues with Smith.
The complaints have also been petering out over time. Forty of the 79 complaints were received last September. Only a “handful” have been made this year according to the news report.