Saturday, November 07, 2009

Common Sense in the Public Sector?

Two news items this morning have left me shaking my head in my confidence in public officials to do the right thing:

1. In Toronto several area hospital Board of Director's, who see nothing of the day to day operations of sick people coming in the front door, received H1N1 shots. H1N1 shots in Ontario are currently and have always been limited to "priority groups" (e.g. pregnant women, children under five, etc.) as set out by the provincial government. Their was no indication that the members on the Hospital Boards have underlying health conditions or anything. The worst part of all, the man that should've known not to give these members the H1N1 vaccine, Donald Low gave the authorization. Now he's apologizing left right and centre. But in actualy Dr. Low knows that nobody can replace him as chief Microbiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He has been the face of fighting the SARS pandemic and the current knowledagable 'talking head' for the H1N1 for the media. So it seems he agreed to take the fall on this as Mount Sinai hospital knows the province is highly unlikely to fire him over this issue as the media would then have a field day over this issue.

At the provincial legislature, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on making a list of anyone who received a shot not in the priority groups public. This would hopefully shame those who received the shot who are perfectly healthy before lets say a five year old with asthma or a pregnant woman. This just leaves me shaking my head as anyone in the public sector could easily skip this criteria by classifying themselves as "healthcare worker" (i.e. the board members of hospitals) or somehow in a "priority group" somehow thus not having to have their shot accounted for.

Whats even worse right now the provincial government, despite several calls for this information from Opposition members, can't even release how many people have been vaccinated. But all this accounting for the H1N1 program would mean public officials would be held accountable and we can't have that now can we? No sir... but we can have more of the public shaking their heads.

2. Finally this one from small town politics from a town (village? Small inhabited local?) in story in today's Toronto Star found here:

If promises are sometimes forgotten in politics, one ought to remember that George Patterson is not a politician. His brother James is.

And so when George, owner of the only gas station in the picturesque village of Sainte-Madeleine-de-la-Rivière-Madeleine, warned residents that if they didn't re-elect his brother as mayor, he'd turn off his pumps – he kept his word.

"I said I'd close them," George declared matter-of-factly. "It's no more serious than that."

Asked whether he was punishing residents, he replied, "It's not so much a punishment (as) a protest. I'm against the new mayor."

Again, I'm left shaking my head as the next set of gas pumps is 30 to 40 kilometres out of town. Talk about selfishness of the highest regard just because someone didn't get their way in politics. I wonder of George and his brother got their flu shots? I would hazard a guess, but then again that would mean someone would have to be held accountable and we can't have that now can we.

I've learned my lesson, politics will just leave the average person shaking their heads at the lack of common sense.

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