A question for Minister of Health Pat Atkinson:

How much money is Telehealth costing?

Nipawin - March 16, 2000 - By: Mario deSantis

$1.5 million
for the second phase of Northern Telehealth
Pilot Project
With news releases dated March 3, 2000, Pat Atkinson approved the April 1, 1999 to March 31,
2000 budgets for some 21 health districts(1). I became alarmed by the fact these budgets were
approved in the same month the related fiscal year was ending. Therefore, I became curious to
find out how long it took for the previous year budgets to be approved. I checked the governmental
web site for news releases and for the year 1999 and 1998 I found no mentioning of any approval
of any budget for any districts. It is obvious that the processes to approve the districts' budgets have
been changing in the last few years. As I was searching through the governmental web site, I came
across an interesting news release dated December 4, 1998 mentioning the funding of $1.5 million
for the second phase of Northern Telehealth Pilot Project(2). If $1.5 million were mentioned for
the second phase of this pilot project I should suspect that somemore millions of dollars could
have been allocated to the first phase of this pilot project.
eight sites This pilot project was intended to link patients and care providers at eight sites in the Northwest,
Keewatin Yathe Mamawetan, Churchill River, Battlefords, Prince Albert and Saskatoon health
provide assistance
In announcing the second phase of this project, Minister of Health Pat Atkinson said "This project
will improve health services for patients and health providers in rural and northern Saskatchewan.
People from the north will be able to visit a facility in La Ronge and receive services as if they had
visited a specialist's office in centres such as Prince Albert or Saskatoon." Pat Atkinson also stated
that "Telehealth has the potential to significantly improve the way we deliver health services now
and into the next century." She concluded the news release stating that the Saskatchewan Health
Information Network (SHIN) will provide assistance on the development of this pilot project.
Telehealth to another technological flushing of the toilette Now, we already know that SHIN diverted money from its mandate to assist the districts in the
Y2K nightmare(3), and we also know that some $40 million have been flushed down the toilette(4).
Therefore, at this point of writing we can realize how the assisting crappy hand of SHIN has
turned Telehealth to another technological flushing of the toilette, just like the previous secretive
pilot project Stargarden healthcare payroll(5). Let us see what kind of documentation we have to
support our claim that Telehealth is another crap assembled by our Big Brains(6) headed by Brian
Rourke(7), the Supreme Asset of the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO).
Telehealth system will
be fully operational
in June 1999
The news release dated December 4, 1998 states that the Telehealth system will be fully
operational in June 1999. The districts' budgets 1999-2000 approved on March 3, 2000 include
the Mamawetan and the Northwest districts. In approving the Mamawetan's budget, Pat Atkinson
says "I am particularly pleased to see the district continuing to advance the Telehealth project."
The approval of the budget for the Northwest district includes the statement by Board Chair
Dale Green "The Telehealth Project has helped district residents get faster access to specialty
services without having to leave the district."
double-talking is a true mark of political excellency I find these two references to Telehealth contradictory, the first reference implies that the project
is not completed, the second reference implies that the project is completed. This diverse
double-talking is a true mark of political excellency of our astute politicians, they don't want to be
caught lying, so one politician says something, the other says another thing, and when they are put
into a corner they eventually flip-flop(8). Flip-flopping is the politically correct term for what a
decent person knows as straight lying.
their Telehealth project is another pilot project In mid May 1999, Associate Health Minister Judy Junor, in reviewing the impending i
mplementation of the Telehealth system linking Nipawin with Cumberland House stated "It's
going to be a significant change in how health services are delivered in remote areas, and in
particular in the north(9)." Nipawin and Cumberland House are not part of the districts included in
the Northern Telehealth Pilot Project and therefore their Telehealth project is another pilot project.
two independent pilot projects. Believe it or not, we have definitely two independent pilot projects. This is another invention of our
bureaucrats, for them the term pilot doesn't mean economically feasible, for them pilot means to
give governmental money to their friends(10) and this is why we have two pilot projects to
accomplish the same purpose: flush more money into the toilette. Anyhow, the Telehealth system
linking Nipawin to Cumberland House is supposed to be operational to day(11), March 15, 2000,
but referring to the past experiences of our Big Brains I doubt about it.
Telehealth not only is an obsolete technology It is a fact that Telehealth not only is an obsolete technology, but it is costing the province millions
of dollars. Further, rural Saskatchewan has the know-how to implement superior Internet compatible
technologies linking remote sites(12) and it is therefore penalized, first because money is going
down the toilette, second because that money is not circulated in rural Saskatchewan but in urban
centre or in the US, third because this wasting of money deprives rural Saskatchewan for the
opportunity to diversify its economy.
how much money Honourable Pat Atkinson, I have this question for you: how much money has been spent so far
for Telehealth, and how much more money do you intend to flush into the toilette?
  Quote by Donella Meadows "challenging a paradigm is not a part-time job. It is not sufficient to make your point once and then blame the world for not getting it. The world has a vested interest in, a commitment to, not getting it. The point has to be made patiently and repeatedly, day after day after day" ftp://sysdyn.mit.edu/ftp/sdep/Roadmaps/RM1/D-4143-1.pdf   http://iisd1.iisd.ca/pcdf/meadows/default.htm
  General reference: Articles by Mario deSantis published by North Central Internet News http://www.ftlcomm.com/ensign/authors/desantis.html


Government News Release, Health - 86, March 3, 2000 http://www.gov.sk.ca/newsrel/2000/03/


HEALTH MINISTER ANNOUNCES NEXT PHASE OF TELEHEALTH PILOT PROJECT DEVELOPMENT, Government News Release, Health 98 - 896, Dec 04, 1998 http://www.gov.sk.ca/newsrel/1998Dec/896.98120401.html


Saskatchewan Health Information Network-SHIN: Ignoring its mandate and diverting money for the Y2K Nightmare, by Mario deSantis, November 3, 1999


What Happened to the Saskatchewan Health Information Network (SHIN)? By Mario deSantis, June 10, 1999


Letter dated April 28, 1997 from Mario deSantis directed to all Chairpersons and Chief Executive Officers of Saskatchewan District Health Boards. Re: Computerization of Health Care Payroll and Economic Policies. http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/desam/paper-letterToChairsCEOs-Apr28-97.htm


Healthcare Payroll and SAHO's Big Brains, by Mario deSantis, November 20, 1999


Brian Rourke wants more healthcare money: 40% of public expenditures are not enough, by Mario deSantis, November 14, 1999


Premier Roy Romanow flip-flops on Farm Aid and confirms his hypocrisy, by Mario deSantis, February 28, 2000


Technological changes in Saskatchewan health care: an abysmal disaster, by Mario deSantis, May 27, 1999


Governments must stop to serve themselves and their friends, by Mario deSantis, February 12, 2000


Technology provides health link to Cumberland House, CBC Saskatchewan http://sask.cbc.ca/ Web Posted | Mar 8 2000 4:37 PM


Worldwide Developer's Conference Begins Today, FTLComm - San Jose - May 10, 1999 by: Timothy W. Shire "...Through the wonders of QuickTime 4.0 I was able to attend the Keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose California and listen as interim CEO Steve Jobs and head of software development Avie Trevanian outline Apple's present strategy...". Published in the North Central Internet News http://www.ftlcomm.com/ensign/computer_today/worldwidedev/worldwidedev.html