Since when was the Ontario Health Ministry a personal tax payer’s debit card for anyone working within it?…………. apparently forever!!!
Not swayed by being caught in the first scandal involving the IT contractor for wasting tax payers money on personal expenses like reading a newspaper on a subway this money sucking black hole of waste is now back in the headlines!
Not that it went silent as warnings back in July of last year had our beloved Deb Matthews on the defensive, as usual.
Piggy backing on ORNGE I guess the E Health team wants some air time too!
Name one single thing this Government has done in ten years that has NOT become a massive money wasting DEBACLE!
I dare ya!
MARCH 25, 2013 BY CHRISTINA BLIZZARD ,QMI AGENCY
TORONTO – Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the eHealth waters, along comes a shark and bites you in the backside.
Yep, that troubled IT gang-that-can’t-shoot-straight, the same agency that brought you the infamous $1-billion boondoggle instead of electronic health records, also paid for a senior executive to get her PhD part-time — on your dime.
The poster child for self-entitlement is one Alice Keung, eHealth’s chief operating officer.
I asked eHealth vice-president Rob Mitchell why the agency didn’t hire someone who already had the qualifications for the job. He couldn’t comment.
“Her being hired precedes my time here and I don’t know what qualifications were posted in the search for her,” he told me. Keung was an employee of the Ministry of Health and transferred to eHealth after the shakeup that followed the scathing auditor’s report on the agency.
Mitchell said Keung had negotiated the all-expenses-paid PhD in her employment contract with the ministry — that it met all ministry guidelines and when she moved to eHealth, the deal went with her.
And, hey, I’m all for upgrading skills — but a PhD? This isn’t the first time the health ministry has paid for executives degrees. Ornge paid for some of its brass to get MBAs, as well.
Keung didn’t take her course in Toronto. She commuted from this city to Carleton University in Ottawa — and was flown at taxpayers’ expense. Carleton was the only university that offered the part-time PhD.
The total bill for travel to and from Ottawa as well as textbooks, student expenses and tuition is around $11,000, said Tory critic Michael Harris.
You’d expect Health Minister Deb Matthews to have been contrite at this shameless extravagance with public money. Not so. She was insufferably smug about it.
“The OPS (Ontario Public Service) has a program that supports people to improve their education, improve their skills so they can give more to the people of Ontario, because they bring those enhanced skills to the province of Ontario,” Matthews told reporters.
Still, it explains a lot.
I always thought the health ministry got caught up in so many boondoggles because they were asleep at the switch or incompetent.
Now I understand. They’re all at school.