23 January 2008

Health board under-staffed

Dr. Oscar Howell, vice-president of medical services for Eastern Health said the province's largest health authority is short-staffed and is "struggling every day" to assure it follows appropriate policies.

That comment came in testimony today at a court hearing into an application by the authority to limit access by a public inquiry to two quality assurance reports into the operation of its labs.

Interestingly, Howell's comments don't seem to be entirely relevant to issue at hand. The breast cancer screening issue may not have surfaced until 2005, but the problem dates back to a time when the health authority was much smaller than it is today.

Howell's comments do go a long way to explaining how the authority has handled several major crises since it was created in 2004/2005.