Denise Wagler-Allan winner of this year’s HCDC pop quiz

Congratulations to Denise Wagler-Allan — winner of this year’s Health Care Divisional Council annual pop quiz. A $100 gift certificate goes to the delegate/alternate whose entry was first to be drawn and has the answers to the quiz correct.

At this year’s OPSEU Convention our annual health care quiz was more challenging than ever. Many delegates found the quiz fun and informative. Thankfully our marking allowed for a number of correct answers.

For those wishing to know the answers to our quiz, click on the link below:

Question 1: Canadian Blood Services closed down the Thunder Bay plasma donor clinic in April 2012 saying they didn’t need the 10,800 units of plasma the clinic generated annually. At the same time CBS was…

a. Burning all their copies of the Krever Inquiry report
b. Purchasing even more plasma from the United States
c. Wondering if the Thunderbirds marionettes actually live in Thunder Bay
d. Testing out the slogan “it’s in you to sell.”

Answer: Only one correct answer on this question: Its (b). CBS actually doubled imports from the United States by 10,000 units while cutting the Thunder Bay facility. While CBS maintained they had too much fresh frozen plasma, plasma collected in Thunder Bay had been also used for fractionation into pharmaceutical products that are facing rapidly increasing demand in Canada.

Question 2: The Ontario government is seeking bids from private for-profit consortiums to design, build, finance and maintain a new privatized psychiatric/rehab hospital in Kingston. They are doing this because…

a. This method of building new hospitals is really expensive and the Wynne government has so much money they don’t know what else to do with it.
b. They fought an election against public-private partnerships and thought, what the heck, what’s one more broken promise?
c. The private sector is far less transparent and pesky activists will never be able to get any real information on how public funding got spent.
d. Heck if we know.

Answer: The correct answer is (d). P3s make little sense, however we would take any answer on this question as each likely have an element of truth about it.

Question 3: In the midst of a deadly C-Difficile outbreak in 2012, the Niagara Health System decided to sever its ties with the American company that was providing contract management over cleaning at the multi-site hospital. The hospital also added 18 new in-house cleaning positions. The decision followed…

a. An expose by CBC-TV’s The Fifth Estate that revealed housekeeping at three of seven NHS hospitals left much to be desired.
b. An 11th hour epiphany that contracting out wasn’t such a good idea.
c. The realization that maybe infection control might have some vague connection to how the hospital was cleaned.
d. Lunch

Answer: The correct answer is (a). Answers (b) and (c) are pure speculation, but we’d accept them anyway.

Question 4: The Ontario government recently decided to alter how community-based physiotherapy is delivered. In their release they stated “until now, a small number of for-profit companies have had almost exclusive control over the delivery of publicly funded physiotherapy.” And yet…

a. Ontario is spending much of this reallocated funding in home care and nursing homes where more than half of the providers are owned by for-profit companies.
b. Last year half of Ontario’s not-for-profit hospitals admitted that they had recently cut outpatient physiotherapy services.
c. Actual spending on physiotherapy is still in decline.
d. Unfortunately all of the above.

The Answer: (a) or (b) would be our preferred choice, however, the for-profit physio clinics are saying this represents a cut, so (c) would be acceptable, as would (d).

Question 5: When the County of Frontenac starting looking to implement their own version of austerity, the Council decided that it primarily could do without…

a. 4,380 hours of ambulance service despite an escalation of emergency calls.
b. Common sense
c. Twinkies
d. Any thought to raising enough money to meet the County’s share of land ambulance costs.

Answer: The answer we are seeking is (a), however, we do wonder about (d) and feel it would be an acceptable guess. We’ll take either. The decision suggests a lack of common sense too, so (b) would also be acceptable. We made up the bit about Twinkies. That would be wrong.

Question 6: The Ontario government estimates that for every dollar spent on mental health and addictions, it saves $7 in health costs and $30 in lost productivity and social costs. Despite what appears to be low hanging fruit, last year’s provincial budget…

a. Didn’t even mention mental health.
b. Had a lot of numbers in it.
c. Extended the austerity freeze in hospital base funding to tertiary care mental health centres.
d. Is never based on good evidence anyway.

Answer: Remarkably (a) is what we were seeking — there was no mention of mental health in the 2012 budget despite the benefits of taking action. In fact, psychiatric hospitals were included in the freeze on funding to hospitals, so (c) would be correct. That includes community-based services provided by those psychiatric hospitals. The budget does have a lot of numbers in it, so (b) would be acceptable, and while (d) is a matter of opinion, we’d take it too.

Question 7: There are 32,000 Ontarians on wait lists for their preferred long-term care home, with 19,000 of these presently waiting in the community. What’s the best way to jump the queue?

a. A suitcase with many small unmarked bills inside.
b. Be a patient in a hospital that has been declared by the LHIN to be having a bed crisis.
c. Ask to be reunited with a spouse who is already in a long-term care bed.
d. Have your primary caregiver die.

Answer: This was our most difficult question. We would never suggest that corruption works, so (a) is definitely wrong. (d) would be correct, as would (b). As much as the government likes to talk about making it a priority for patients to be placed from the community, “alternate level of care” patients in hospital get priority when that hospital needs the beds and declares a “bed crisis”. There have been times when half the hospitals in a LHIN have been in “bed crisis,” making it a lot more difficult for those waiting at home to get a long-term care bed. Reuniting spouses is also a priority (c), but does not rank as high as (b) or (d) when allocating beds.

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