Friday August 14, 2009

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday August 14, 2009

‘Mistake’ to hire eHealth CEO, premier says

Premier Dalton McGuinty says hiring Sarah Kramer to run eHealth Ontario was a “mistake” that he deeply regrets.

McGuinty yesterday distanced himself from Kramer and Dr. Alan Hudson, head of the drive to reduce health-care wait times and former eHealth chair. The two left the agency amid a spending scandal involving untendered contracts and executive bonuses.

“In hindsight it is obvious that we made a mistake,” McGuinty said, adding Hudson convinced him that Kramer was the best candidate.

McGuinty emphasized he did not hear any objections to her hiring. A published report said the premier intervened in the hiring despite objections from senior civil servants.

“Honestly, Dr. Hudson was a strong influence in all of this,” the premier said. “I relied heavily on him. … He made it clear to me that if he was going to take on additional responsibility with electronic health records, he thought Sarah Kramer would be indispensable.”

Meanwhile, eHealth is hunting for a search firm to recruit a candidate for the agency’s top job, said agency spokesperson Deanna Allen.

Editorial Cartoon, Dalton McGuinty, Ontario, Spending, Nepotism, Cronyism, Queen’s Park, eHealth