Showing posts from April, 2009

WRHA denies report of swine flu at city hospital

Just as we prepared to go to air, a listener called in and reported that the emergency room hallway at St Boniface Hospital was being sealed off. The hospital employee told us they were informed it was due to a confirmed case of H1N1 influenza A "swine flu".

As a result of our inquiry for confirmation, Heidi Graham from the WHRA told Shannah-Lee the emergency room hallway is sealed off because of construction. She said there are no confirmed cases of swine flu in the province.

Harry Lehotsky's health care system concerns are still valid today

Today is the anniversary of a very significant piece of first-person journalism in Winnipeg.

It was about the Manitoba health care system.

It was pointedly critical of the health care mandarins and their "system".

It was about wait times - waiting for a family doctors' appointment, waiting in a crowded, understaffed Urgent Care room, waiting for radiological tests. It was about the choice between paying out of pocket to leave the province to speed up the diagnosis -- or being in constant pain.

It was about a man who didn't yet realize, he was already dying of terminal cancer.

It was about the beginning of the end, of the life of Rev. Harry Lehotsky.

His column was in the Winnipeg Sun, 3 years ago today.
There does not appear to be a link available to the column. In the public interest, and in his memory, the April 30, 2006 column of Harry Lehotsky is being reprinted below.

In light of last weeks wait time report results, the horror stories of Brian Sinclair, Gail Glesby,…

Behind the NDP's MRI wait time debacle; plus more listener comments on ER's, nursing, and health care

As solely reported on this blog and on 92.9 Kick-FM last week,
Manitoba stands alone in Canada as the ONLY place where wait times for MRI's is trending LONGER - more than doubling from an average maximum wait time of 54 days in 2006, to 91 days in 2008.

After downplaying the true depth of the march backwards for MRI patients (and misrepresenting the failure of the NDP to meet the 6 month benchmark for 75% of knee replacement surgeries), teachers' pet -- er, the Winnipeg Free Press, ran to get the official spin, without a word from the opposition or any analysis:

Health Minister Theresa Oswald said the number of MRI tests being ordered has jumped dramatically since family physicians became able to order them.

She said the province has extended hours for MRI scans and increased available overtime to manage the increased load. "We've plateaued and (the wait) is coming down."

Only TGCTS has gotten the view of insiders to explain the real reasons how and why the governmen…

Manitoba flunks national wait time test for MRI's, closes in on knee replacement target

A quick overview of The Canadian Institute for Health Information "Wait times tables, a comparison by Province, 2009", Manitoba performancesynopsis
Wait times as reported by Canadian provinces for the period April-December 2008 -- note that trends are based on 3 year averages where suitably measured data is available

* Page 3- Summary Table 1
Overall benchmark performances in the 7 categories based on 182 day/26 week target
- Manitoba fails to reach benchmark of 75% in knee replacements within 26 weeks; this refers to Page 7/table 5, where the exact figure is 71%.

* Page 4 Summary Table 3
Provincial wait time trends for the 7 procedures that have benchmark targets
- Manitoba is the only province where wait time for MRI's increased
- Manitoba and Ontario do not track coronary artery bypass surgery recovery times
( Note: the data for Manitoba cataract waits is blank - not shaded, no arrow. It is blank. So who knows …

Listeners comment on HSC and Seven Oaks ER's, Two tier medicine, Superbugs, manufactured news, Tim Horton's camp "story", crime, and a happy note

A round-up of recent emails:


(This is the link for the Gail Glesby facebook group )

"My name is Angie, I'm Ashley's Dad's girlfriend.
Thank you Marty an awesome job. As you told Gails story I sat in my chair and almost relived it. Thank you for giving them a voice, someone finally listens, I know how much this means to Ashley and Dylon, the way Gail was treated left by the staff of HSC to died without dignity or respect.

I hope that you will continue to bring stories such as these to the attention of those who can change they way things are done so that no other family has to ever deal with this type of behavior again.
Thank you Oh so much."

"Re: Sun picks up our Glesby exclusive, the headline must have made WRHA's weekend

What would we do without you Marty? That was such an awesome couple of shows and my heart goes out to the family and I hope something will eventu…

Exclusive: University of Manitoba seeks special relief from $50M+ pension squeeze

The University of Manitoba has called 2 special meetings to ask Pension Plan members to approve of proposed changes caused by a "significant solvency deficiency" - which will require the University to make special payments of up to $19 million per year for the next 5 years" unless special action is taken.

And we have also learned the U of M is not the only University with a troubling pension liability.

In a letter to pension plan members, Vice-president (administration) Deborah McCallum cited three key factors for the crisis- "insufficient ongoing contribution levels" by members and the U of M., longer life expectancy that increases liability by approx. $22M, and "lower-than-expected (net)investment returns" of -15.7% in 08.

The University currently matches the $15M paid into the fund by members but "will have to contribute an extra $2.5-3 million this year."

And "based on the estimated funding shortfall" expected in a required valua…

Matt Bellan, former editor of Jewish Post and News, dies suddenly

The Jewish community is mourning the loss of the recently retired editor and co-owner of The Jewish Post. Matt Bellan, 57, who partnered with his brother Bernie in operating the tabloid (now called the Jewish Post and News) since 1984, was found dead at his home this morning.

According to a a Canadian Jewish News story of December 31st, 2008, Bellan "retired in early December and is selling his share to his brother and partner, Bernie.

The paper had been a weekly until about a year ago, but the brothers decided to print every second week as a result of declining advertising sales.

Bellan said that the paper is doing much better financially and that advertising has picked up over the last year.

He added that he feels relieved to be free of the responsibility of editing the paper after 27 years on the job.


Matt Bellan said that when he began working as editor, the Jewish Post was a 12-page publication that served largely as a community bulletin board promoting upcoming events.


Veteran broadcaster Marshall Armstrong passes away

We have just received word that Marshall Armstrong, well remembered by local TV viewers from his days at CKY-TV, died suddenly last night. The investigative reporter still drew a wide audience with his weekly columns in the local Community Living publications in which he poked government bureauracracies of all stripes, and in particular at health authorities and officials. A fearless champion for the little guy, Marshall will be missed, and our deepest condolences go to his family.

Today at 4.30 PM we interview the Mayor of Leaf Rapids Ed Charrier, as he issues a 30 Day Challenge to the provincial government to help his community battle crime and addiction. At 5.10 PM Scott Taylor has his Stanley Cup playoff predictions. Plus your emails about superbug epidemics in hospitals, Gordon Sinclair's columns, and more!

Today: Driedger finds HSC had nurse shortage while Brian Sinclair was dying; FP exposes hospital superbug epidemic; Glesby death investigation news

Thanks to all our listeners and readers for your response to our ongoing coverage of the Gail Glesby case. Please consider joining the Facebook page "The Fight for Gail Glesby" to support the family and help bring other cases like hers forward.

On Good Friday, we replayed our findings of her mistreatment at Health Sciences Centre culled from official hospital records, as well as replaying our interview with her sister about the effect on the family.

Today we will have more news about the Glesby story- as well as following up on Tom Brodbeck's column "Shortage of Truth" that ran yesterday in the Winnipeg Sun.

Tom's analysis of the discovery by the provincial Conservative caucus that serious nursing shortages were concurrent to the death of Brian Sinclair at HSC's emergency room is very disturbing. Charleswood MLA and opposition Health Critic Myrna Driedger (at 4.10 PM) will explain the full details of the documentation she got in response to her Freedom …

Oswald assures Legislature Glesby death review will include family

The Gail Glesby case moved from the media to the political arena yesterday, when Liberal leader Dr. Jon Gerrard made good on his promise to raise the issue with the government.

In Question Period yesterday Health Minister Theresa Oswald fielded direct questions about her knowledge of the file and how it is being handled by the WRHA. Gerrard had said in an exclusive interview on TGCTS on Monday, that he was going to advocate on behalf of the family at the earliest opportunity.

Here is the transcript of that exchange:

Gail Glesby Death

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Mr. Speaker, Manitobans have been shocked recently to learn of the appalling facts surrounding the death of Gail Glesby.

Ms. Glesby was seen at the Health Sciences Centre emergency room in 2004 when she became ill after a gastroscopy procedure, and while there, as I understand it, she developed an intracerebral hemorrhage, likely from a fall in the emergency room washroom. The diagnosis was delayed and, as the re…

Winnipeg Sun front page calls Gail Glesby death "HSC horror story"; WRHA claims "all the formal reviews were done"; family still waiting for answers

Following our breaking the story about the treatment of Gail Glesby after her return visit to the emergency room of the Health Sciences Centre in October 2004 and of the family now demanding answers, the Winnipeg Sun picked up the theme in Saturday's paper-- and got a strange explanation from health care officials.

We got the ball rolling with the background of the case on Thursday, when we reported exclusive details of our consulting doctors' review of the official file and coroners report, and narrative notes by Gail's daughter.

Ashley fought in vain with HSC staff for Gail to be treated with dignity and respect. Instead, Gail was accused of "faking" clear symptoms of a brain bleed, and was getting the bum's rush out the door to clear a bed even when her brain injury had rendered her incapacitated.
Here is a link to that broadcast:

In our exclusive follow-up interview with Gail's sister Heidi on F…