Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Letter to Metro Morning

Re: The eHealth Scandal in Ontario

The project manager you interviewed on your show this morning said the words that have begged to be spoken on the matter of the recent eHealth scandal. To paraphrase - why did it take some minor over-billing by a consultant to alert the media to the waste of a billion dollars, and the failure of the government to deliver on eHealth ?

The fact is that media likes to go for the juicy story, and I realize that an overlong IT project doesn't qualify for that designation. However, CBC has always been good at leading its listeners to stories as well. I hope you continue to stay with this one.

The real story - the slow failure of the eHealth project - isn't the type of story that provokes immediate outrage, but still it has wasted huge amounts of money at a glacial pace. (How many Toronto pools could be kept open with $1B, how much medical equipment could be bought?) As such, it's vital to all of us that the media keep this story in the headlines by checking in periodically to make sure that this project is completed as promised.

If we're not planning to adopt the American model of for-profit healthcare (and I pray that we're not) then it's up to all of us to apply extra attention to matters of public healthcare, because no "invisible hand" will do it in our stead.

Michael Hardner

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