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2017 Commissioner’s Award
Firing the Medical Officer of Health
Author: Alison McGear, Ted Darby, Raisa B. Deber
Publication Date: 1982, 2004
A local Board of Health seeks to dismiss their newly-appointed Medical Officer of health, by law the chief executive officer of the Public Health Unit, on the grounds she lacked appropriate management and communication skills for her position, and was not effective in implementing board policy. The request followed a series of disputes with the long-time Business Administrator, who had been unofficially responsible for all financial and personnel matters during the term of the previous MOH, (since retired). Rather than agree immediately, the Ontario Minister of Health authorized an investigation into the management of the Health Unit.
In addition to questions concerning the optimal management of Public Health Units, the case study focuses on the relationship between local and provincial levels of government, and on the relationship between experts and managers within the public service.
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