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2012 brings new level of transparency for QHC

As of January 1 all hospitals in Ontario, including Quinte Health Care, are subject to Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection legislation. The purpose of the legislation is twofold: it provides public access to a wide range of hospital records and creates added protection for personal information held by the hospital.

“The basic premise behind freedom of information legislation is that, with a few specific exceptions, records of a publicly funded institution belong to the public,” said Mary Clare Egberts, QHC President & CEO. “This is the level of transparency that the public clearly wants from its institutions, so we are ready to make our records available to the public. In fact, Ontario is the last province in Canada to have hospitals subject to freedom of information legislation.”

Members of the public can still call or e-mail QHC to request information informally, without needing to go through the steps of a formal request. However, there is now the added option of making a formal freedom of information request.

QHC has also started making more information available to the public through its web site, such as: board meeting summaries; the quality improvement plan and indicators; staff newsletters; and senior leadership and board expenses. QHC has also posted on the web site all current executive contracts.

“Proactively disclosing our executive contracts supports the principles of freedom of information and our ongoing commitment to transparency,” said John Embregts, QHC Treasurer, Board of Directors. The term “executive” refers to the Chief Executive Officer, Chief of Staff, and the three Vice-Presidents at Quinte Health Care. Their complete contracts or letters of employment, and a full summary of all benefits, are available on the QHC web site.

“We consider many factors when determining executive compensation, including the need to reflect market standards; the goal to attract and retain the best executive talent to run our hospitals; the complexity of QHC with our four hospitals; and recruitment to our rural area,” said Mr. Embregts. “We believe that our executive compensation levels are responsible and will ensure that our hospitals retain the best leadership, while respecting Ontario’s health care dollars.”

To make a freedom of information request, go to the QHC web site or call the hospital at 613-969-7400 (613-332-2825 in the Bancroft area). Contact the Health Records department to access your own health record after you have been discharged.

Click here for: Explaining executive compensation at QHC

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