"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Secrecy is bad, mkay

From the memor hole. Emphasis added.

Health care corporations breaking the law:

Corporations refusing to respond to Freedom of

ST. JOHN'S, June 2, 2000 — Opposition Health critic Loyola Sullivan says the province's health care corporations are not above the law.

The Opposition, through Sullivan, sent eight Freedom of Information requests on February 2 to health care corporations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The Opposition has been attempting to find out the total number of lawsuits against health care corporations and the amount of settlements to date.

Sullivan said only three of eight corporations responded to the Freedom of Information request. The remaining five corporations are in violation of the Freedom of Information Act by failing to respond within the required 30 days.

Only the Western, Central-West and Avalon health care corporations responded. The Peninsulas, Grenfell, Labrador, Central-East and St. John's health care corporations did not provide any information requested through the Freedom of Information process.

"The Peninsulas Health Care Corporation reports that it cannot provide the information requested because the lawsuits were made through liability insurance and the information is confidential," Sullivan said. "This is utterly ridiculous, considering the people of this province fund the operations of health care boards and hospitals. This is not accountability for taxpayers' money. No government agency or institution should be free to escape accountability."

Sullivan said he also has major problems with the Health Care Corporation of St. John's for failing to respond to the Opposition's Freedom of Information request on lawsuits and total costs. "A corporation official contacted the Opposition office April 7 to explain that their CEO, Elizabeth Davis, would be returning from vacation April 14 and apologized for the delay," he said. "Despite promising to comply with the Freedom of Information request, the corporation has yet to respond. Where is the accountability within the system? Why are Crown corporations, agencies and institutions allowed to break the law by ignoring the Freedom of Information Act?"

"I can only imagine someone is trying to cover up information. The public has a right to know how their tax dollar is being spent."

Sullivan is calling on the Minister of Health to ensure there's accountability within the health care system and that the health care corporations – appointed by the government – obey the laws of the province.

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