Ornge in Red

ref: Ornge overspending slammed by Ontario auditor general

The fiasco is complicated by the fact that it is a convergence two capital intensive industries, which is healthcare and aviation.  How would you expect people at MOHLTC to be aware of nuances of aviation.  Cannot comment upon allegations of inappropriate use of funds.  Keeping that aside, it would have been a tough job to keep an aviation associated venture viable for non-profit purposes.

It states that the government failed to monitor that the people running the Ornge were also shareholders in companies bidding for services.  It is again an example of lack of experience of those keeping oversight over the corporation.  In other aspects of healthcare such a situation rarely arises.  There aren’t many companies bidding for services in a hospital or community organization.  I feel that those keeping an oversight weren’t tuned to catch such a situation.

It was a grave mistake on the part of management to buy more helicopters than they needed, and create a subsidiary to generate profits.  It Ornge was created as non-profit, then it is not supposed to create for-profit sister concerns.  It just cannot be compared with allowing Tim Hortons to open an outlet in hospitals lobby.  In the latter case a coffee shop holding company is not owned by the hospital.

Also, by purchasing and leasing back of the building by its for-profit arm to Ornge smells of somebody in management with experience in aviation.  Purchase and lease back is common thing in aviation when they want to reduce debt.

Regarding difficulty in measuring Ornge’s response time and whether it was serving the patients needs, again shows that those keeping a watch didn’t have the right set of eyes to judge aviation related venture.


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