Office of the Citizens’ Representative
March 7, 2019

Citizens’ Representative Releases Report on the Investigation of Administrative Matters Relating to Central Health

In the fall of 2017, a number of physicians contacted the Office of the Citizens’ Representative (the “OCR”) alleging unfairness by Central Health in relation to a number of administrative matters. The OCR commenced an investigation into the physicians’ concerns on December 13, 2017.

On February 6, 2018, the Minister of Health and Community Services commissioned an external investigation of Central Health by Dr. Peter Vaughan, a former Deputy Minister of Health in Nova Scotia. The OCR placed its investigation in abeyance until Dr. Vaughan’s report was released on May 17, 2018. The OCR then restarted its investigation and conducted further interviews and related research. It released its report today and it can be found at www.citizensrep.nl.ca/pdfs/PIDCentralHealthReportMarch7-19.pdf PDF icon

The OCR investigated the following seven separate matters of administration:

Issue 1:
The Bylaws and the CEO’s mandate to appoint and reappoint members to the medical staff and grant privileges.

Issue 2:
The possible use of credentialing processes as a method of discipline.

Issue 3:
Doctors being personally involved in the evaluation and/or credentialing processes of a radiologist, when an apprehension of bias may exist.

Issue 4:
Alleged failure to implement a change management strategy in relation to the regionalization of diagnostic imaging services.

Issue 5:
Heightened use of locum physicians for diagnostic imaging at Gander.

Issue 6:
Some physician(s) in the diagnostic imaging group at Central Health are not certified by the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (“RCPC”)

Issue 7:
The implementation of recommendations contained in a Report on diagnostic imagery at Central Health issued in September, 2015.

The OCR made the following two recommendations:

  1. Central Health should write an apology to a radiologist for using the credentialing process for an improper purpose as contemplated by section 2(a) of the Apology Act.
  2. Central Health should amend its Medical Staff Bylaws to more specifically address the issues of conflict of interest and apprehension of bias by all those participating in any credentialing or disciplinary processes.

Citizens’ Representative Barry Fleming, Q.C. stated;

“This is one of a series of reports touching on relationships, leaderships, governance, and clinical management at Central Health. We hope the time for investigation is over. It is now time for Central Health, its Board, senior management, and all associated physicians, to take a stern view to rectifying the various issues these reports identify.”

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Media contact
Jocelyn Walsh or Lorraine Holden
Office of the Citizens’ Representative
709-729-7647

2019 03 07                              11:15 a.m.