I have been observing with interest the various concerns of “clients,” formerly known as patients, of Eastern Health, which have been reported in the media, and through my own observations speaking to a large number of people over the past three years while my mother was in the “care” of Eastern Health.
Spaghettios offered as an option but delivered arbitrarily and unrequested to a client seemed to be the flashpoint.
What has occurred here is a strictly economic, industrial model where now the care of persons is trumped by budgetary savings, where the unit cost of a meal trumps nutritional requirements denying the basic tenet of patient care.
To the best of my knowledge, any patient in a health-care facility is “owed a duty of care.” That’s very strong language that to me says no one in the Health-Care Industry — and, sadly, it now appears to be an industry — can deny or avoid giving you or your loved one the care they deserve. It is owed.
My mother, in my opinion, did not receive the care she deserved. That, to me, is disgusting, but what is truly disturbing is the reaction of Eastern Health administration, the health minister’s office and the
premier’s office. All have been informed and/or received numerous emails about my concerns and seem to feel that if they ignore me I will go away.
Over 2 1/2 years later, I am still here and they are still ignoring me. Apparently, my concerns are a non-issue.
My only response from the premier’s office came from the premier’s chief of staff, Ross Reid, who said my concerns were taken seriously.
Health Minister Susan Sullivan’s office said I would receive correspondence from Eastern Health CEO Vickie Kaminski. A document from Kaminski did arrive at my email address, but she must have confused me with someone else as she seemed to address issues she had heard about from someone else, and then offered ludicrous replies. Then she told me she was finished with me.
I offered a reply contesting her documentation, and if you can be angry in script, she angrily told me she disagreed and then told me she was finished with me again.
Isn’t that the same tack she pursued with The Telegram when there were issues she seemed to want to avoid and then said she would stop talking to them as well?
May I offer Kaminski some future advice: you, on the request of Sullivan, sent me an email supposedly investigating my accusations against Eastern Health employees, and I think you would agree these accusations are very serious.
In the future, you may want to converse with the complainant, as a one-sided investigation — where you at no time contacted me — could very well be construed as somewhat unfair and unjust. I did send an email to government administration asking if they agreed with this approach — a one-sided investigation — and there was only silence.
It is a constant with Kaminski, in my opinion, this non-answering of any concerns expressed questioning procedures at Eastern Health.
Did she ever say Elizabeth Kavanagh received Spaghettios
she did not request? (“Seniors’ home serves up spaghettios,” The Telegram, Oct. 5, 2013) The non-answer I heard was they were offered as an option because some people liked them on toast.
Kaminski has provided me with a host of non-answers. We have been bombarded with non-answers from elected officials forever. Elected officials must face the electorate periodically, but apparently Kaminski is immune. She seems to have been declared autocrat, dictator and the Trinity, as both Sullivan and then premier Kathy Dunderdale declined to intervene in “individual” cases, no matter how dire the accusations of lack of care. I would suggest this position has been not only sanctioned, but encouraged.
To conclude, Eastern Health has an entity entitled “client services,” a total misnomer in my opinion. Review any response from Eastern Health and they immediately suggest you contact client services. I stupidly fell for that as I was assured it acted as a go-between. Garbage. This entity received a list of concerns from me over two years ago. They have addressed nothing, and when Kaminski refused to speak with me, they also claimed they could not speak to me as the file was closed.
Please do not waste your time on this useless entity when its funding could be used for patient care.
Warren Janes writes from St. John’s.