The following is an open letter to Saskatchewan Minister of Health Dustin Duncan.
I write to you today to ask you to please reconsider your proposed "LEAN" program for our Health Care System.
I am a senior, born and raised in Saskatchewan. I have seen many changes in health and many other areas in this province over the years. I have paid my share of taxes, spent my working life in the health care field and, of late, have had dealings with the RQHR.
It is my believe that the problem with our health care system is not our health care workers. It is the result of a much too large leadership.
Compare the present system's organizations with a mushroom, with the front line workers being the stem. The front line workers being our nurses, doctors, diagnostic technicians/technologists, housekeeping, maintenance, dietary, etc.
The head of the mushroom consists of the administration staff. That will consist of directors, assistant directors, administrators, assistant administrators, dozens of committees, boards, CEO's, politicians, consultants, etc.
Over the years we have seen a huge increase in the size of the head of this mushroom without the subsequent growth in the steam and as we all know a mushroom that becomes too top heavy will inevitably topple over.
With the creation of multiple layers of management, you create competition in middle management for the approval of higher management (a.k.a. justifying their jobs) on who the units are being managed. I do believe that most people are starting to see that the bottom line of any aspect of the healthcare business is money. As in any business then, the goal of any good "manager" would seem to me to be to save the hospital money and it appears to me that this is most often being accomplished by creating committees and hiring consultants to figure out new ways to do this. This inevitably results in requiring the front line workers to "do more with less" or in the best case scenario, with nothing more. (asking the "stem" to carry more weight).
Is it any wonder that our actual working staff feel intimidated, threatened and defeated?
Does anyone ever question why morale is low on our hospital units? Why are there such things as code burgundy, gag orders, beds in the hallways being an acceptable way to spend a hospital stay, and on of the latest, co-ed patient rooms? Why can one unit not pick up the phone to talk to another unit with regard to patient placements or concerns, so it doesn't have to become a big ordeal? Why must such things have to go through an assistant to another director's assistant somewhere in the system? Isn't the biggest part of being "LEAN" to simplify processes?
Through our personal experience with health care we are still asking ourselves and members of the RQHR hierarchy, "Who is in charge?" "Who can make a decision and have it followed through in a timely manner?" We would love to know. Fifteen months after our "incident" we are still in limbo.
The easiest thing in the world is to blame the workers for the problems. These people get up every morning and go to their work, and do their best to do a good job for their days pay. How frustrating that must be when they see the problems but cannot voice their concerns in fear of reprisal. Remember the saying 'too many cooks spoil the broth', well perhaps too many bosses intimidate, frustrate and complicate the work place.
Surely we can fix our health system. I have to ask what other system, business, corporation, has so many administration employees? If all these people can't fix the problem then one can only surmise they are part of that problem. What a lot of good that $40,000,000 would do in the health care system working for those folks who paid it with their tax dollars.
Please put our money to use in our best interest and not in the pocket of some foreign enterprise.
Donna Byers - Maple Creek