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Government & policy

Fired health region CEO departs with $4 million

CALGARY – Jack Davis (pictured), who was CEO of the Calgary Health Region for nine years, is leaving the post with a retirement package of more than $4 million. During his tenure as CHR chief, he often came under fire for his annual salary and benefits, which topped $1 million.

“You do wonder who agreed to that (retirement) contract, don’t you?”, commented Dr. Avalon Roberts, a member of the Friends of Medicare advocacy group, in an interview with CBC news.

“That money would be much better spent on the front line. It’s a large amount of money. I think it’s probably unprecedented for a public servant to receive that kind of payout. I don’t know that for sure, but it certainly seems remarkably large.”

“I don’t think you can really justify this type of compensation for the type of product that was being produced by the Calgary Health Region,” said Scott Hennig, director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Hennig said Calgarians deserved better results for this money.

“We haven’t seen wait times significantly drop. We haven’t seen the Calgary Health Region run a balanced budget in years,” said Hennig. “I don’t think you can really justify this type of compensation for the type of product that was being produced by the Calgary Health Region.”

Meanwhile, the region’s 2007-08 financial statement also shows that its chief financial officer will be paid more than $1 million, and three other senior executives will take home more than $800,000 each under the supplemental retirement plan.

The figures also confirm that the CHR is facing a deficit of $97.5 million.

Davis and 11 other CEOs were terminated by the Alberta Health Services Board in July as the board moved ahead to centralize healthcare delivery.

Alberta Health Minister Ron Liepert said the retirement package has nothing to do with his department because Davis’ pension is part of a contract he made when he started with the region.

Meanwhile, Edmonton’s Capital Health said its outgoing CEO Sheila Weatherill is getting about $2 million under her supplemental executive retirement plan.

 

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