More proof Lean savings are meagre

Heartland Health Region saved $12,690 on multi-million-dollar Lean pet project

The government’s Lean pet project is again showing that it isn’t saving any money while it makes health care worse, according to a fourth region now reporting meagre savings on the pricey program.

Documents obtained through access to information laws show that Heartland Health Region reports saving only $12,690 through John Black’s Lean program.

That amount joins the $26,648 the Cypress Health Region reporting saving as a result of John Black's version of Lean; the $17,465 in savings reported by Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region; and the $131.26 saved in the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region. John Black Lean is in its fourth year in Saskatchewan.

“We know health care and patient safety is getting worse – surveys of doctors and health professionals tell us that, the government’s Health Quality Council statistics tell us that, and the record number of critical incidents reported in the Health Ministry’s annual report tells us that. On top of the concerns about the quality of care, John Black's version of Lean is costing us untold millions and not even returning a fraction of that in savings,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten.

“This government has drunk the Kool-Aid on John Black’s Lean program. It’s beyond time it realized John Black Lean isn’t good for patients, and it’s sucking valuable resources away from the front-lines of care to pay for more administration and consulting fees.”

The government is shovelling money to its Lean pet project, including $40 million for Black, an American Lean Consultant; $3,500 per day for senseis plus $600 per day for their interpreters; and at least $17 million per year for Kaizen Promotion Offices mandated by Black. The government is also spending untold millions on travel expenses to send nearly 1,000 Saskatchewan health care workers to Utah and Seattle to visit an air bag factory and small private health centre.

Broten said the program has gone way too far, and it’s time to get rid of John Black.

“Internal documents show that senior leaders in the health care system say John Black is a toxic influence who gossips, undermines health professionals and tattles on them if they question his methods. Health care workers say Lean isn’t working. Even the independent provincial auditor looked at the Provincial Kaizen Promotion headquarters and reported that Lean is an uncoordinated mess. The auditor said things will improve once the government cuts ties with John Black.

“It’s time to cancel the damaging John Black Lean program and send this $40 million consultant back to the United States. We can’t afford to keep wasting untold millions for such minimal return, and we could never afford this project's harmful effects on patients and patient care.”

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For more information, contact:
Doyle Fox, NDP caucus