Tag Archives: Windsor Regional Hospital

Duncan calls for new $1.8 billion Windsor hospital after cancelling hospital projects in other communities

While cancelling the new $136.8 million West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Grimsby, along with cuts to five other hospital projects across the province, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced a task force to look at building a new $1.5 billion regional hospital in his Windsor constituency.

The new super hospital would replace both Windsor Regional Hospital and Windsor Hotel Dieu. This is even though both hospitals have undergone recent additions, including a $91.6 million mental health facility at WRH and an $80 million cardiac care expansion at Hotel Dieu. Last year the government also approved a $60 million expansion of WRH’s ER and laboratory facilities – a project that wasn’t shelved as part of the McGuinty austerity budget.

Despite more than $230 million in new builds at the two hospitals – almost twice what it would cost to rebuild West Lincoln, Duncan estimates the Windsor hospitals will require another $1.8 billion in new capital projects to keep the two hospitals operating.

David Musyj, CEO of Windsor Regional, says both the buildings and the site are physically inadequate for what’s needed in the near future.

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Freedom of Information: $1637.76 to access info from 20 hospitals

Now that hospitals are subject to Freedom of Information requests, how accessible will this information really be? It all depends on the hospital and how much money you have.

It cost us $1,637.76 to find out what the ratio of staff to management was at 20 hospital corporations. That includes the $5 processing fee it takes to initiate the request.

Hospitals came under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act on January 1st of this year, although the Ontario Hospital Association sought and received additional exemption from divulging quality information under specific circumstances.

For years we have heard front line staff complain that their numbers have dwindled while the ranks of management have increased. We decided to test that question with requests to 20 randomly selected hospitals where OPSEU represents members. This includes four mental health centres – Penetanguishene’s Waypoint Centre, Whitby’s Ontario Shores, London’s St. Joseph’s Health Centre (Regional Mental Health), and the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group.

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Windsor hospital CEO defends women’s wages – we think…

Our friend David Musyj is mellowing.

The CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital, once a vocal advocate for wage freezes, now says either freeze all wages or none at all.

Musyj told the Windsor Star that it’s a morale breaker when the government freezes wages for just one group.

He says the impact of extending the freeze will be negative because further penalizing this group for “political gain” is grossly unfair.

We agree. As public sector workers, it is a morale breaker to see calls for more austerity when our wage increases are already well below the private sector.

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Musyj “very concerned” even though “nothing dramatic changing” – huh?

If you regularly read these pages, you’ll notice that we have been sounding the alarm for some time now about the surge capacity of hospitals.

If you have an average occupancy of 98 per cent, what happens when you have a bad flu season or there is a significant pandemic in the community? You can’t, as Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel recommends, turn it up to 11.

One of our favourite targets here at the Diablogue is Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj, who has a habit of blaming everyone but himself for his hospital’s ongoing woes.

Musyj is back in the media this week telling Windsor residents to think about going elsewhere after the holidays given his already clogged emergency room at the Metropolitan Campus is going to get worse.

The fact that the ER is clogged during a traditionally quieter time is “making us very concerned about what we’re going to see after the holidays,” Musyj told the Windsor Star.

Less you worry about your ability to get treated after that somewhat uncooked turkey, Musyj also says “there is nothing dramatic changing one way or another.” Huh?

Musyj says he will have extra beds to fill with those emergency patients, but doesn’t say where they are coming from.

Maybe it’s a slow news day in Windsor. Then again, it could be yet another early warning that cutting all those hospital beds over the last decade may have gone a little too far.

Musyj calls for hospital mergers despite lack of supporting evidence

Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj is suggesting the best way to bend the health care cost curve is to amalgamate his hospital with Windsor Hotel Dieu Hospital.

As usual, Musyj lacks any evidence to support his suggestion, made before an audience of Rotarians in that city.

He may instead want to look at the independent Canadian Health Services Research Foundation web site, which says there is no evidence that such mergers save money.

“While the intuitive appeal of ‘bigger is better’ in hospital mergers is powerful, it’s clear the empirical evidence is weak and the potential for negative outcomes significant,” the Research Foundation states.

The Foundation warns that mergers are particularly difficult on staff morale, which has a direct impact on the quality of patient care.

They also note that mergers can disrupt services and absorb more management attention during a transition period, also affecting patient care.

The Windsor Star notes that the merger may be a tough sell given the last such merger cost the region two hospital sites and beds.

When mergers do occur, senior management usually go cap in hand to their boards, asking for more compensation to deal with the greater responsibility they now face.

Other money saving ideas Musyj gave the Rotarians include cuts to outpatient services and charging patients a fee for emergency room visits – the latter a clear violation of the Canada Health Act.

Musyj said Ontario needed a Royal Commission to look at the way the province delivers health services.

He also defended the LHINs, suggesting moving administrative offices to London or Toronto would not be in the best interests of his community.

Windsor hospital CEO uses OPS deal to attack hospital workers

What does a one per cent increase for the Ontario Public Service have to do with Windsor Regional Hospital? Answer: very little.

Yet this morning the hospital’s CEO made the front page of the Windsor Star attacking the agreement, which does not directly impact staff at the hospital.

It’s true that all wage settlements are subject to comparison at the bargaining table, and it is likely WRH CEO David Musyj will try and introduce the lowest comparators he can find. If the two sides cannot agree, an arbitrator will look at all the submitted comparators. That’s the nature of the process.

OPSEU does not shy away from negotiating the best contracts for its members. During a recession it’s not unusual to have the final years of a multi-year contract make up for lower increases in the early years.

Musyj says both the arbitration and negotiation process is broken. How so? This is the same CEO who claimed he couldn’t afford $3.6 million in salary increases while the hospital was receiving more than $10 million in new money and audited statements revealed he was actually sitting on a surplus. Better still, the spring budget revealed status quo for the hospitals, forestalling reductions in the rate of increase that had been forecast in the 2010 budget. That means Musyj will likely see that surplus increase.

Musyj says his office is expected to reduce expenses by 10 per cent, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be taking another cut in pay (the latest Sunshine list showed Musyj took a cut in pay to $254,847 in 2010 from $265,000 in 2009). The government has made it clear that it will not penalize hospitals that fail to do so. With a surplus, what is Musyj’s motivation for doing so?

The question comes down to this: we are now emerging out of the recession, why is it would-be politicians like Musyj still trying to reduce the standard of living of working people? As we have noted repeatedly, the same thing was never asked of profitable corporations who are seeing their taxes cut to record lows.

It’s already party time on Bay Street and Wall Street.

This morning the economy posted stronger than expected job numbers, suggesting Ontario is bouncing back from the recession. That means more revenue for the government, and by extension, its hospitals. Where’s the panic?

Musyj is playing politics at the expense of the morale of his staff. This is far from good leadership.