Janet Davidson is appointed Deputy Minister of Health

Janet Davidson

The Redford government just passed an Order in Council appointing Janet Davidson Deputy Minister of Health.  This decision has many implications, not the least of which is this:  Will Ms Davidson continue in her role as Official Administrator of Alberta Health Services?  Is she legally allowed to perform both roles and collect two pay cheques, one as Official Administrator and one as Deputy Minister, at the same time?  If she can, is this an indication that the government is backing away from its practice of creating boards and packing them with cronies who’ve served them well?  (Wild applause!)

Clearly this move has been in the works for some time—Orders in Council aren’t whipped up overnight.  Why wasn’t this decision mentioned in yesterday’s press release announcing the AHS organizational changes?

Does anyone know how to spell T-R-A-N-S-P-A-R-E-N-C-Y?

Here’s the Order in Council Notice

 Order in Council

September 11, 2013Approved September 10, 2013.HONOURABLE MS. REDFORD287/2013
GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION ACT (section 4) and PUBLIC SERVICE ACT (sections 11 and 18) – Appoints Janet Davidson as Deputy Minister of Health for a term to expire on September 30, 2015.

Orders in Council can now be viewed on the Queen’s Printer website at: http://www.qp.alberta.ca/507.cfm

This entry was posted in Alberta Health Care, Politics and Government and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Janet Davidson is appointed Deputy Minister of Health

  1. Hello Susan. My understanding is that yesterday Ms. Davidson ceased to be the Official Administrator of AHS. Dr. John Cowell will take over the role of AHS’ Official Administrator

    It is rather difficult to keep up with these changes!

    • David, you’re right. I found an article in the Herald confirming Dr Cowell’s appointment. So that answers the first question–the position of Official Administrator will continue.
      As you rightly point out, these changes are hard to keep up with. Dr Maubaum put it well. He said “This is another fundamental structural change to Alberta Health Services, yet again without consultation.”
      Consultation and transparency, it always comes down to these fundamental principles doesn’t it?

  2. Ted Woynillowicz says:

    How open will Ms Davidson be in meeting and speaking openly with the public? is she open to listening to the concerns of Albertans regarding the government’s push to increasingly download/offload medical costs onto Albertans? In which direction does she want to take health care? Is she willing to bring authentic public engagement that to date has been totally lacking in ALberta?

    • Is she willing to bring authentic public engagement to guiding the direction of public healthcare? Well, given the fact that Ms Davidson landed in the Deputy Minister role and redrew the boundaries of regional health authorities yet again (now the province is divided into a north zone and a south zone) with no consultation whatsoever with the stakeholders (who she defines as including patients) and partners (who she defines as including the AMA, the College, and health professional associations) I’d hazard a guess that the answer to your question is a resounding NO.

  3. Carlos Beca says:

    Well remember when the cookie monster came from Australia? Remember Sheila? It sounds like the same old record. Hopefully not but I will just say that I have a feeling that within a year Janet Davidson will be collecting her golden handshake and another reorg will be done. This time they can hire Pee Wee Herman and continue with their transparency program and propaganda.

    • Ms Davidson has a track record of coming into an organization to clean it up and then leaving again, so you’re probably right Carlos. I like the idea of Pee Wee Herman–he couldn’t be any worse than Fred Horne, could he?

  4. Carlos Beca says:

    Well I was not too far with the Pee Wee Herman suggestion. Another blooper this afternoon. Fred is looking more like Fred Flingstone now. What a sad joke this all is. It is now my number 1 reality show. I check my sources every morning for more fun. Unfortunately it is getting too repetitive. Soon we will have another golden hand shake and Janet with the laughable salary of 580 thousand will get another couple of million and so the cycle goes. It almost sounds like they are getting all their best friends through the process so that they will all have a nice pension.

    • Yes, I’d read that Ms Davidson would get a much higher salary than the other DMs, so I decided to read her report to see what the taxpayers are getting in return. There are a number of things that bother me.
      First: She refers to AHS being too focused on “process” which delays the “crisis response” because it involves preparing briefing notes, background documents, media statements, etc. She says “This is not unexpected given the intense pressure to respond to every concern that is raised.” Intense pressure from whom? Mr Horne? If the AHS suffered from intense pressure when it was arms-length from the government just imagine what they’ll experience now!
      Second: She says they’re going to drop 70 VPs, but only 5 are fired, the rest will be “reprofiled”. She also talks about amending the executive structure, filing all the managerial/supervisory positions (presumably these include the 65 “reprofiled” VPs) and then reviewing the positions from the ground up to decide see whether they’re necessary. That sounds completely backwards. When I was involved in corporate downsizings, the VP would be eliminated, his teams would be rolled into another VP’s area, duplication and overlap would be identified and the redundant people would leave the company with a termination package.
      Third: Nowhere in her report does Ms Davidson discuss eliminating the waste in the system. For example, is there any reason to continue to truck all of dirty linen from Calgary hospitals up to Edmonton to be washed and then trucked back. Sure, it’s a lucrative contract for the trucking company but does it make any sense to the Alberta taxpayer?

      • tickwickson says:

        Hi, I couldn’t agree with you more. Completing my Executive MBA and currently finishing my Essential of Organizational Change course it is fairly easy to look at how this has transpired without any of the change theory principles including consultation with stakeholders, enlisting change teams, understanding the problems, communicating to the organization, creating the vision and sustainable strategy then act with implementing a structure and consolidate by eliminating positions that do not align with the vision or are considered resistors to change. It is really tiring and difficult to continue to work in an organization that undergoes consist change, and the challenge is our corporate culture is demoralized each time. I have worked in the organization for 10 years and the reason why I did my MBA is to consider other sources of work if I couldn’t be satisfied with my role in AHS.

  5. They do what they want, when they want. The general public (who ever cared about them anyway, a big payout is what matters). I am outa here. God bless and protect non pc’s.

    • Sadly Tom, you’ve summed up our predicament in two simple sentences. We’re now looking to the progressives to put aside their party loyalties and cooperate in the interest of the greater public good. I hope they can get there soon before every social program we have is transferred to the private market.

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