In Defense of Dr. John Ross
Dr. John Ross will go down in history as either the gutsiest guy in Nova Scotia or a whining, incompetent that couldn’t get his way. Remember on January 20, he was the emergency room doctor at the QEII in Halifax that was tired of patients backing up in the ER. To get things moving he called a Code Orange. Basically, he fired off an order that the ER was in crisis mode and it could not cope with the inflow of patients unless all of the resources of the hospital were used to solve the problem.
Well, you can imagine the management noses that got out of joint on that one. THis was a big news story, and as a result of the Code Orange everyone in hospital had to start answering questions.
Hurray for Dr. Ross! The ER was faced with a problem of patients coming in, but the hospital was not providing places for them to go once they were admitted. Now you would think that since this story had hit the airwaves and papers on Monday, that anyone in the hospital ( who didn’t have their heads in the sand ) would have been working on Monday and Tuesday to fix the problem without having to resort to a Code Orange. You would think. But no. People were waiting more than 24 hours for treatment and there were more than half-a-dozen ambulances parked at the entrance “storing” patients. No beds were being opened. Once the Code Orange was called the problem was fixed in under three hours! So, what we have here is an organization that was either unable or unwiling to solve the problem on its own. Dr. Ross’ call just put a gun to their heads and made people get off their duffs and do something.
The CEO of the QEII, Chris Power, stated that she didn’t think that it had to go to that level and that Dr. Ross had other lines of communication to resolve the problem. When asked whether Dr. Ross had tried those lines of communication she replied that she didn’t know. Didn’t know! Guess what Ms. Power, it is your job to know! You should have been aware of the problem on Monday morning and even if you weren’t taking calls from any of your staff that day, you should have been aware of the problem on Tuesday if you had paid any attention to the news media. So, what do you do before you are called in to meet the Minister of Health. You fire the COO (Chief Operating Officer) a guy you hired away from the Calgary Health Board and year earlier into a position you created. Way to cover your butt, Ms. Power. Remember Harry Truman? – “The buck stops here!” That means you Ms. Power. If anyone was to fall on their sword it should have been you. That is your ship. And if you are not at the helm during a time of crisis you don’t deserve to be there.
But in the defense of the QEII, I am sure there were some very high level meetings going on to schedule a meeting to discuss an agenda for a future meeting to discuss problems in the ER. Without Dr. John Ross this problem would have been resolved in 2012.
Now we hear that Dr. Ross has had his responsibilities changed within the ER. He is no longer in charge of day to day operations of the ER department at the QEII. Since I have not read any news stories quoting him on how happy he is with the change I can only assume that he was pushed. Way to go Ms. Power.
In Ms. Power’s defense, here is a statement and video she made to the Capital Health
Good words, but I fear that they are from the same old hymn book.
A Sour Kraut.