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Peterborough chapter activist cautious about choice of local hospital president

Roy Brady

Peterborough Health Coalition chairperson (and Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter activist) Roy Brady plays a critical role as a watchdog over the operations of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

Peterborough This Week reports, “After an 18-month $91,000 search, the Peterborough Regional Health Centre has hired a new boss from within. Dr. Peter McLaughlin, who was named interim president and CEO following the departure of Ken Tremblay in November 2014, was selected to lead the hospital. Tremblay left shortly before the hospital’s board of directors announced that $57 million in funding had been set aside but not properly recorded via a series of ‘accounting errors’.”

When the issue of the $57 million first arose almost two years ago now, Brady stated, “This is supposed to be a community hospital. It has become less and less of a community hospital over the years. …The figures are right there on a monthly basis. Did the board not see them? That’s the question that needs to be asked.”

The newspaper now reports, “Dr. McLaughlin says safeguards are now in place to make sure errors don’t occur, something he helped implement during his interim tenure at the hospital.”

Peterborough This Week then highlights, “Brady says the money spent to find a new president and CEO could have been spent on patient care. However, he says some characteristics of the new hospital boss suggested by the coalition during the community consultation period were heard.”

The newspaper notes, “Brady says the coalition wanted someone with a medical background as opposed to a business background. They have that with Dr. McLaughlin, he adds. ‘But we also wanted a people person and Peter hasn’t shown that’, says Brady. He adds morale at the hospital is bad and hasn’t improved since Dr. McLaughlin was named interim president and CEO. ‘Peter needs to work on that’, says Brady. ‘(He was the right choice) if he can change employee attitudes at the hospital. If he does that we will cheer him on.'”

The Peterborough Examiner adds, “At least one health advocate wasn’t so sure about the choice. Roy Brady has been following the selection process [and says], ‘This was a surprise: For a year and a half, they were looking for people, and then they came back to the one they already had’, Brady said. Brady said that in the public consultations, people said they very much wanted a CEO who would be ‘a people person’ to help boost morale on hospital staff. ‘We wanted a CEO who would get out and talk to people’, he said. ‘I don’t know if we got that.'”

In July 2015, when MyKawartha.com named Brady one of Peterborough’s 20 most influential people, they commented, “Following the $57-million debacle at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Mr. Brady has been relentless in his attempt to get to the bottom of the matter. He and his Peterborough Health Coalition have held several meetings and protests, saying the public deserves more information from hospital officials. …Most recently, Mr. Brady has asked that the coalition be part of the search committee tasked with finding the hospital’s new CEO.”

This morning, Brady tells us, “Communities do have to get involved to preserve their public health care system, particularly within their own municipalities.”

Further reading
Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter calls for community control of local hospital (December 19, 2014)