Millions in cancer treatment money being spent on Lean warehouses

The Sask. Party government is spending millions to lease two empty warehouse spaces as part of the John Black-style Lean program.

The money – paying for one $512,616 annual lease on a warehouse since 2012 and another $161,201 annual warehouse lease since 2013 – is being taken out of the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA).

“This is a disgusting waste,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten. “This money should be used to treat cancer patients and deliver better health care throughout the province. Instead, it’s more of the wasteful spending this government is shoveling into the John Black-style Lean program.

“The Sask. Party government claims it can’t afford to improve health care, but everywhere we look we find this government blowing more and more money on misplaced priorities while it ignores the real needs on the front lines of hospitals and seniors care homes throughout the province.”

A portion of the first property, located on McOrmond Drive in Saskatoon, is being used to accommodate the government’s bloated health care administration, while more than 7,000 square feet sit empty. The second property on Saskatoon’s 59th Street has been set aside for Lean design events, only being used 47 days since 2013 – about eight per cent of the time.

The provincial budget short-changed health care. A shockingly low $27.5 million was allocated to deal with more than $2.2 billion in necessary repairs. The budget also borrows $700 million and racks up debt by a further $1.5 billion while failing to get the job done on backlogged and crumbling hospitals with long waits and hallway medicine.

“This government is spending more than any government in any year in the history of our province – but it’s not using that money on things that matter most to people,” said Broten. “Instead, it’s spending all that money on countless examples of horrible waste, like renting empty warehouses, just in case the toxic John Black-style Lean program needs them.”

The Lean program would use warehouses for 3P events. In a John Black-style 3P, Lean consultants find ways to shrink the design of a health facility by building models. This method was applied to the new Moose Jaw hospital, which is being built too small with fewer patient rooms and Saskatchewan’s only hyperbaric chamber is being excluded because it doesn’t fit. It was also used for the Children’s Hospital, but was so damaging to the design, planners were forced to go back to the drawing board and add space, adding delay and more cost to the project.

John Black and the other Lean consultants are neither architects nor medical professionals, yet this government has spent nearly $40 million on the American Lean consultant.