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Labrador Grenfell Health board member quits; calls for inquiry

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Ray Squires says changes needed

ST. ANTHONY, N.L. —

A former Labrador-Grenfell Health board member says there needs to be changes in how the health authority is managed.

Ray Squires Jr. announced he was quitting the Labrador-Grenfell Health (LGH) board of directors at the beginning of the health forum held in St. Anthony on March 28.

The St. Anthony resident decided to quit after nearly two years on the board, alleging the board is not allowed to make decisions regarding health care policy in the region.

Squires joined the LGH board of directors in 2017. A cancer patient for the last 13 years, he said he hoped to be able to affect change in the health care system.

“I spent enough time in the hospital to see what was going on,” he told The Northern Pen. “And I wanted to make a difference. That’s why I got on the board.”

But he says at every turn, the board has been stymied.

According to Squires, decisions were always made internally, by management and the provincial government.

He says the board, itself, only existed to sign off on those decisions and were never allowed opportunity to make the decisions itself.

“It’s between management and the government, the board is only there to rubberstamp things after they’re done and to take the blame if things go wrong,” he said. “The board does nothing. We haven’t accomplished one thing in the year and nine months I was there.”

Squires stood up during the health forum and addressed these matters directly before the public and LGH management in attendance.

He concluded his spiel by announcing he was quitting the board and then promptly walked out the door.

Squires is now calling for an inquiry into the upper management of LGH, citing a number of concerns including the lack of senior management positioned in St. Anthony as well as doctor vacancies.

“The people have got to demand an inquiry into management, especially for Charles S. Curtis,” he told The Northern Pen. “If they don’t, there’s no accountability for nothing – it’s a wild west show.”

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

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