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CEO leaves Fraser Health’s top doc resigns
CEO leaves Fraser Health's top doc resigns

CEO leaves Fraser Health’s top doc resigns

The head of the Fraser Health Authority has resigned, weeks before a government-ordered review is due to be released.

The health authority’s board of directors announced Friday that CEO Dr. Nigel Murray is returning to his birthplace, New Zealand, for family reasons and for a new job.

No severance will be paid to Murray because he is quitting, the announcement said.

The announcement is the latest shakeup at Fraser, where the former board chair David Mitchell was removed in April by the provincial government.

The board has since been chaired by Wynne Powell, the longtime board chair of the Provincial Health Services Authority who also chairs B.C. Emergency Services.

Powell said the strategic review committee is finalizing its recommendations for improvements at Fraser.

He wouldn’t reveal details of the findings but suggested they point mainly to smarter use of Fraser’s budget allocation.

“The conclusion they came to is funding is not the major issue,” Powell said.

“It’s not just about change, it’s about helping drive better results and better outcomes. We’ve got to find a way to use the facilities in the best manner possible.”

Powell said he thinks there are opportunities for improvement in community care and long-term care in particular.

“There’s definitely got to be a refocusing of some of the moneys to help the system.”

Health Minister Terry Lake announced the review last fall in response to Fraser’s repeated failure to stay within its budget each year.

Lake at that time said the review could explore a redrawing of health authority boundaries.

Asked if Lower Mainland health authorities will be amalgamated now that Fraser is without a permanent CEO and board chair, Powell said he’s heard “that rumour” but has seen nothing to substantiate it.

Fraser and Vancouver Coastal already jointly procure various services and supplies to save money.

Powell also responded to criticism that the detailed findings of the review team won’t be released, but will instead be summarized within a new three-year strategic plan for Fraser.

He said the working papers of the committee are too complex for their public release to be helpful.

“It’s not a matter of them being hidden, it’s a matter of making sure they’re interpreted correctly,” he said.

During Murray’s seven years at Fraser, the health region’s budget climbed nearly 50 per cent, from $2.1 billion to $3.1 billion.

Even with the increase, local hospitals remain heavily congested and there’s been steady criticism that Fraser gets a lower per capita share of health funding compared to other regions.

Powell said it’s difficult to compare budgets of different health regions, because they perform different tasks.

He said the Vancouver Coastal and Provincial Health Services authorities spend enormous amounts on academic work and research that’s “essential” to improving health care and finding efficiencies.

Agencies/Canadajournal




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    One comment

    1. He said the working papers of the committee are too complex for their public release to be helpful.
      “It’s not a matter of them being hidden, it’s a matter of making sure they’re interpreted correctly,” he said.

      It is amazing to me that Mr Powell thinks I am too stupid to be able to understand and interpret the report that i helped pay for with my taxes. I think I should have the right to read it and that I should be treated as someone with perhaps as much intelligence as most BC Liberal politicians!

      Once again, people who were elected to serve the public, hold the smug attitude that they know so much more than the average citizen that they couldn’t possibly share information that effects their lives and well-being with them.

      I for one, am weary of Liberal backroom manipulation and interpretation of facts and figures. The BC Liberal mantra, ” It is not an issue of needing more money….” usually means ” We don’t want you to see how incompetent we are .”

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