St. Joseph’s Health Care, London and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) are committed to accountability. We know that our community not only depends on us to deliver high quality and compassionate care, but also to be effective stewards of the resources entrusted to us by the taxpayers of Ontario.
On Wednesday, October 20, 2010 , the Auditor General of Ontario released a Report on Consultant Use in Selected Health Organizations. We take his findings very seriously and endorse his recommendations. We accept that government and hospitals can do better. Taxpayers have the right to maximum value for money and we are committed to demonstrating exemplary resource management.
The Special Report examines the hiring and management of consultants at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as well as selected hospitals and Local Health Integration Networks during the timeframe of November 2007 to July 2009. LHSC was one of the 16 audited hospitals and cooperated fully with the Auditor.
While St. Joseph’s was not one of the participating hospitals, both hospitals are working diligently together to implement improved procurement processes provided by the Broader Public Sector Supply Chain Guidelines issued by Ontario’s Ministry of Finance. Since the fall of 2009, the initiatives have included:
- completion of a review of consulting contracts to ensure compliance with procurement policies,
- leader education on procurement practice and the hospital’s standards of business conduct,
- revision of the signing authority and competitive bidding/procurement policies; and,
- implementation of enhanced contract management and control procedures.
We are very supportive of the government’s response to the report. At this point, we have not had the opportunity to review the proposed legislation and policy initiatives. The nature of our work – caring for patients – adds a layer of complexity that doesn’t exist in other sectors. It is critical that this complexity – particularly around quality of care issues and Freedom of Information – be accounted for in the government’s response.
Our hospitals’ leadership – our boards of directors, CEO, and senior management – are fully committed to taking action to improve public confidence in our business policies and processes. We will work hard to implement the new requirements as they are finalized.
We remain committed to strong clear business practices. Through leading models such as Health Care Materials Management, a joint venture of LHSC and St. Joseph’s, we have built a strong foundation on which our hospitals will continue to demonstrate excellence in resource stewardship in all aspects of our work.