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More on PPAO vs CMHA

July 4, 2011

Just this morning I was asked by a good friend and fellow emotional health blogger about the problems here, given the fact that CMHA has often shown itself to be flexible and accommodating.  Let’s investigate.

I’ll begin with a quote from the from the Assistant Deputy Minister’s announcement, which I cite from David Gibson on the FB group:

“Integrating the PPAO’s rights advice and advocacy services with the CMHA’s own and other related community-based mental health services will result in a more coordinated, patient-centred continuum of care. The transfer would include the funding, governance, operational management and accountability of the PPAO’s current services and functions.”

No. The PPAO must remain as independent and free to speak as the Auditor General or Ombudsman (which are the types of office it in turn should report to).

Independence and specific accountability are its raison d’etre. It cannot be, nor be seen to be, an element of the system it is trying to supervise.

Once under the CMHA, it would be all too easy for CMHA philosophy and corporate culture to deliberately or unintentionally distort PPAO operations, especially with a new layer of budgetary administration as pressure.

We are damned lucky in this Province that psychiatric abuse is not investigated in-house, in the manner of police complaints. Reflect for a second on how much suffering is occasioned by the latter. Let’s not err in the direction of the former.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Angela Browne permalink
    July 4, 2011 6:48 pm

    Provision of services and advocacy should never be delivered under the same organizational rubric.

    • charlene permalink
      July 31, 2011 4:31 pm

      To do so would create such an obvious conflict of interest you have to wonder what the motivation is? It is also concerning that it is being considered that all mental health and addiction services be devlievered under one governance structure. This move could in effect create a monopoly on service delivery for mental health services. It could increase opportunities for expanding a one size fits all model of service provision to organizations beyond, not only local boundaries but national provincial and national boundaries, through the tendering out of contracts for provision of a one size fits all models of service. This too could be considered a human rights issue for people in need of mental health supports because this move could essentially serve to reduce options for people in need of a diverse range of mental health services delivered through independant board structures that have the freedom to develop their own mandates tailored to local community needs. I wonder who would propose such an intiative?

      • July 31, 2011 4:44 pm

        This initiative was proposed by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, unannounced to any but a select group of “stakeholders” (bureaucratese for “it’s on a need-to-know basis and nobody else needs to know”), and cynically set to be pushed through during the summer legislative break to prevent it becoming an election issue destined to disappear with McGuinty’s inevitable demise. The Ministry’s stated premise / justification / excuse is not clear. Realpolitik: devolution of services means less governmental responsibility.

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