Health region CEOs paid according to performance
Some health region chief executive officers didn’t collect their full salary this year.
The news comes as part of a new executive pay-per-performance plan, where if 100 per cent of pre-set targets are not met, a health region CEO will not make 100 per cent of their base salary.
“We’re feeling that we got really good results, the measures and results have shown us where we can continue to improve and we’ll take that data and we’ll work it into this year,” said Lori Hutchison Hunter, executive director of risk and relationship management branch with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health.
The largest health region in the province, Saskatoon, was one of four regions that didn’t reach all its targets and as a result, CEO Maura Davies only took home 98.68 per cent of her salary.
“She got quite close to 100 per cent, which is really quite a good performance,” said Colleen Christensen, vice-chair of the Saskatoon Health Region board.
Targets that were not met in Saskatoon include wait times in the emergency department, immunization rates and balancing the budget throughout the year, she said.
“It is a performance based system. Everybody knows and everybody is a very much a part of setting the performance measurements, so it should be within the realm to be able to achieve these targets and if something then changes through the year then it is the responsibility of that particular person.”
Other regions that didn’t meet their targets include the Mamawetan Churchill River Health Region, which covers La Ronge and north-east Saskatchewan.
Ron Woytowich, chair of the health board, noted however that he wasn’t sure if missing the targets was the fault of the CEO or the fault of the board.
One of the CEOs retired in the middle of the year, leaving the new CEO only six months to make sure all the targets were met, said Woytowich, adding that as a “board we had a lot of targets that we set,” Woytowich said.
The board didn’t realize the impact of each of the guidelines that they had set, he said. For example, they wanted to complete a number of focus groups, but as only 80 per cent of those groups were completed, the target was awarded a zero, instead of a partial score.
“When the targets are set this year, we’ll take that into account,” Woytowich said.
“I’m not overly concerned this year that he didn’t make 100 per cent or 101. I mean he’s a brand new CEO … he did inherit the targets.
“I’m positive if the whole thing happened again this year, he’d probably get his 100 per cent.”
Despite some organizations struggling to reach their targets, other health regions were able to exceed them.
In the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, the CEO reached 104 per cent of her salary.
This confirms to the health region board that they have very good people on their leadership team, said Gord Dobrowolsky, the board chair.
“Our CEO and senior management team, not only bought into it, but embraced it, which was encouraging,” he said.
As the plan continues into next year, the ministry will be fine tuning next year’s targets, said Hutchinson Hunter.
CEOs will continue to be held accountable for targets.
“The boards are expected to work with their CEOs, so if there was some repetitive miss of a target, it’s our expectation that the boards will be working with that CEO and taking any corrective action necessary,” she said.
Christensen said during the time she spent on the health region board, they have been pushing for greater accountability. She said the new system shows the tax payer the health board are using the money to provide the best possible health care for the people of Saskatchewan.