Whitehorse: Interim Liberal Leader Sandy Silver says today’s Auditor General of Canada report confirms what the Liberal Caucus has been saying for years: that two rural hospitals were poorly planned and built with no idea of what the health care needs of the local communities were.
“The results of the audit are not a surprise but that doesn’t make them any less disappointing,” he said. “It confirms what the Liberal Caucus has been saying for a number of years about the cavalier approach to these projects and how poorly planned they were.”
Silver says with a major rebuild of the Whitehorse General Hospital on the horizon he is concerned that the same mistakes will be repeated in the coming years.
“With the Whitehorse General Hospital rebuild coming our way, at a price tag of over $250 million, there is the potential to repeat the same mistakes unless there is a change in the way the Yukon Hospital Corporation does business,” he said. “There has been no indication the corporation or the government has been approaching the new construction any differently than it has done in the past.”
Silver said he was interested to see how the Premier responds to the report.
“Minister Cathers was the Minister of Health in 2008 when the planning of new hospitals was set in motion and he sits in cabinet today,” he said. “Will there be any accountability from the Premier or an admission that the Yukon Party government is responsible for creating this mess?”
Silver also repeated his demand for officials from the hospital corporation to appear in the Assembly when the Legislature reconvenes this spring.
“It has been two years since the corporation has appeared and the report today raises many new questions that should be addressed on the floor of the Assembly,” he said. “There has to be to some accountability for the decisions that have been made.”
There is a silver lining in the report regarding the future of the two rural hospitals with the government agreeing to conduct a health care needs assessment in Dawson and Watson Lake.
“It’s possible that we may end up, after all, with facilities that meet the needs of local residents,” he said. “It’s unfortunate it took the government four years and a damning report from the Auditor General of Canada to agree to actually engage people.”
For additional information contact:
Jason Cunning 667-8942
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