GATINEAU — An announcement of who may be the Pontiac representative on the CISSSO board should be made soon, according to Geneviève Coté, media spokesperson for CISSSO. The deadline had been extended in order to allow for more qualified applications to be received. Coté said that CISSSO itself does not know who has applied; it was up to the Ministry of Health to advertise for qualified candidates and decide who to approve for the position.
It appears that the Ministry of Health did not advertise in either Pontiac newspaper, although apparently it sent a request through the advocacy group, Pontiac Voice. This seeming lack of information and transparency makes it difficult for people to know what criteria the Ministry is using to select its Pontiac board representative.
The CISSSO has been
riddled with controversy in recent months as support workers have picketed health establishments to display their dissatisfaction with respect to salaries – which are very low compared to similar workers in Ontario – and with mandatory overtime requirements due to a lack of personnel in hospitals and other facilities. Support workers say it is crucial that the Ministry and Treasury departments raise wage
levels so that workers are encouraged to stay in the area.
Coté said that CISSSO is working very hard to recruit new staff; a job fair was organized March 14th in Gatineau to highlight the need for qualified workers. She added CISSSO will be hiring more family doctors to ensure access for all to a family doctor.
Coté noted that due to the anticipated deficit, estimated close to $6 million, they expect that the Treasury and Health Ministries will extend special funding, averting further cuts to staff and services. In June an end of year report will be made public, reviewing the past year and plans for the next.