My Joint Letter with Teresa Armstrong to Health Minister Eric Hoskins Regarding Termination of LHSC Chief Nursing Executive

Dear Minister Hoskins:

We are writing to request that you establish an external review of the decision by London Health Sciences Centre to terminate the employment of Vanessa Burkoski as Chief Nursing Executive and Vice-President, Professional Practice.

The people of London need to have confidence in their public hospitals. We need to know that the decisions that are made inside our hospitals are in the best interests of patient care, promote accountable governance, and respect the rights of all employees.

Over the weekend, however, the London Free Press reported that Ms. Burkoski’s employment had been terminated, reportedly for no other reason than because of her advocacy work as immediate past President of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. These are troubling allegations that raise serious concerns for our constituents about decisions made at London Health Sciences Centre.

As such, we believe that the facts of this case need to be established by an independent, external investigation. Under the Public Hospitals Act, section 18 authorizes you to appoint a hospital inspector to conduct a review and provide you with a report. We urge you to do so, and to make the report public.

Our constituents deserve answers. They deserve to have confidence that the decisions made inside our local hospitals promote patient care and respect the rights of all employees.

We look forward to your action on this matter.

Sincerely,

Peggy Sattler, MPP London West
Teresa Armstrong, MPP London-Fanshawe