“The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.”
When my Jedi called me last week with rumours that the Honourable George Smithermen was being shuffled, I shuddered. I love George Smitherman! He’s a “whirlwind get it done type of guy”. By Friday it was a done deal. http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/news/Product.asp?ProductID=2327&Lang=EN
Serving 5 years, he was the longest-serving Ontario Minister of Health in the last quarter century. As a health care professional in this province I can tell you that George was the most productive and determined Minister of Health I have witnessed.
George came in furiously with a transformation agenda. To name a few, he fearlessly abolished District Health Councils; ushered in 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), introduced hospital accountability agreements, and downsized 43 Community Care Access Centers (CCACs) to 14. He was passionate about patients, reducing wait times and enhancing access to nurses and doctors. He had a vision and I bought into it hook, line and sinker. His transformation is far from over; he left too early. His mandate unrealized.
George Smitherman is the new Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. David Caplan is replacing him as Minister of Health. I will reserve judgement on that call. David has big shoes to fill. And I don’t mean his mother Elinor’s black patent pumps.
Good Luck Caplan; Good Night Smithermen and thanks for the ride.