Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sick Kids Denied Funding by Goudge Inquiry

Commissioner Stephen Goudge's decision to deny the Hospital for Sick Children's request for funding appears to have gone quite unnoticed.

In a decision released on August 17, 2007, Goudge granted the hospital standing at the Inquiry on the basis that, "Many of the post mortem examinations that gave rise to the establishment of the Commission were performed at the OPFPU (Ontario Pediatric Forensic Pathology Unit).
In light of the direct involvement of (the hospital) and its personnel in pediatric forensic pathology in Ontario, there is no doubt that it should be accorded standing."

The hospital argued that it should receive funding for its expenses at the Inquiry as its involvement in the Commission had come about because of its cooperation with the Chief Coroner's Office over the years to serve the public interest and the needs of Ontario.

But Goudge denied funding after noting that the Chief Coroner's Office had given hospital an annual grant for its services, "so that (the hospital) has not had to expense significant health care dollars to assist (the coroners office);"

Goudge also rejected the hospital's argument that unless it received funding it would have to spend significant health care dollars to assist the Chief Coroner's Office.

"On the record before me, (the hospital) has not established that it cannot participate in the Inquiry without funding," he said.

However, Goudge added that, "it seems to me that (the hospital) may well have a moral claim on the province, both because of the genesis of its need to participate in the Commission and because it would be unfortunate if its delivery of health care suffered as a result."

Harold Levy;;