Is Ontario's patient ombudsman next on the Ford government chopping block?
2018-12-05 from cbc.ca
Ontario's health minister Christine Elliott says she takes patient care seriously but won't say whether her former job —Ontario's patient ombudsman — will be kept or cut by her government.
Elliott quit the high-paying job in February when she decided to run for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party. She lost to Premier Doug Ford but won a seat in the June election and Ford tapped her to be deputy premier and health minister.
The Ford government has not appointed a new patient ombudsman to replace Elliott and the office is currently being led by its executive director Craig Thompson. There is speculation at the legislature that Ford does not intend to fill the vacancy. On the patient ombudsman website it says there are "no new job openings."
Requests to interview Elliott about her former position and its fate were declined.
"Minister Elliott takes patient care very seriously," a statement from press secretary Hayley Chazan said. It went on to blame the previous Liberal government for mismanaging Ontario's health care system.
Elliott's office was asked repeatedly whether the Ford government is committed to keeping the position or if it is under review as part of its effort to cut costs. Her press secretary would not answer the question.
If Ford decides to scrap it, Elliott could find herself having to defend the elimination of her old job.
"The office has been in limbo since February," the NDP's health critic France Gé?linas told CBC News. "The rumours circulating at Queen's Park are that the office will be eliminated and the responsibility will go to the ombudsman."
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