A dangerous turn in the history of SAHO:

from Hewitt Helmsing to Louise Simard

Nipawin - April 12, 2000 - By: Mario deSantis

Mister Health

In the early 1970s Hewitt Helmsing was chairman of the of board of the Regina General Hospital,
board member of the Saskatchewan Health-Care Association, and an investor in the funeral home
industry. In the mid 1970s, while Helmsing was chairman of the SHA board, he was appointed
by his buddies as CEO of the SHA. The work of Hewitt Helmsing has been outstanding, he was
able to extend the membership and influence of the SHA to a variety of health care agencies
including Saskatchewan Health and governments of any colour, he provided a relevant
contribution to the 'law and order' education of the future health care leaders for Saskatchewan
and Canada, and while he was getting to be known more and more as Mister Health(1) he did
not forget to increase the fertility of his own funeral home business. Tired of these successes,
Helmsing voluntarily resigned from his position in 1993(2); he was given a six digit undisclosed
figure by his buddies, and the leadership of health care was handed out to his vice-president
  Arliss Wright.

more power be provided to the peripheral

As health reform were looming on the horizon, Ron Reavely and Dr. Sentes expressed their
dissatisfaction with the Saskatchewan Health-Care Association and recommended that the
association's services be redimensioned(3), that more power be provided to the peripheral
health care agencies, and that a new direction of health care labour relations should be taken,
a new direction away from the association's historical interference .

dangerous trends

My accumulated experiences with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations(4)
(SAHO) became very critical in 1996(5) and a year later I wrote a small paper suggesting the
restructuring of the operations of the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations(6).
Today, some very dangerous trends are developing in Saskatchewan health care.

districts became puppets

The health reform initiated by Minister of Health Louise Simard in 1992 have been a governmental
scam to centralize autocratically the governance of health care in the province(7). The Districts
Health Act was supposed to establish independent districts, instead districts became puppets of
both the government and SAHO(8). We are in the year 2000 and our health care system has
become a gambling casino(9). Brian Rourke(10), a lawyer, has been the chair of SAHO for some
six years, and Louise Simard, a lawyer as well, has been resurrected to continue with her
''Wellness Model' of health and become the CEO of SAHO.

health care rationing

What is happening in health care is not democracy at all, the fact that we have two lawyers
heading SAHO, the fact that Louise Simard is the wife of Deputy Premier Dwain Lingenfelter,
the fact that the health districts of Saskatoon and Regina are in the red for some $40 millions(11),
these are all facts indicating a further reactionary downsizing trend, further centralization of
health care services, further health care rationing, and a further move to undermine the social and
economic setting of rural Saskatchewan.

districts should become independent

Today, more than ever, my claims that the districts should become independent as per
The Districts Health Act and that SAHO's operations must be redimensioned(12), are
essential conditions for the revitalization of the health care system and the revitalization
  of rural Saskatchewan.
  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


Isabel Colvin, past chairperson of the Saskatchewan Health-Care Association (SHA), referred to her CEO Hewitt Helmsing as Mister Health.


Article in The Leader Post Helmsing SHA settle: Severance not disclosed, Regina, September 29, 1993 http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/desam/paper-article-HelmsingSettlement-Sept29-93.htm


New Directions for Healthcare Labour Relations in the 1990s, by Ron Reavely and Dr. Sentes, May 1993 . This paper was submitted to the attention of Honourable Louise Simard, Minister of Health.


Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) is the new agency which resulted from the 1993 amalgamation of the Saskatchewan Health-Care Association (SHA), Saskatchewan Association of Special Care Homes (SASCH), and Saskatchewan Home Care Association (SHCA).


Conversation Paper: Economic policies for the computerization of accounting and payroll functions of Saskatchewan District Health Boards. Meeting of July 15, 1996 between Brian Rourke, Chairperson of SAHO, Arliss Wright, President and CEO of SAHO, and Mario deSantis of DigiCare. Prepared by Mario deSantis, July 12, 1996 http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/desam/Paper-ConversationSAHO-Jl12-96.htm


Public interest and the need for restructuring the operations of the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations. By Mario deSantis, April 30, 1997. Published in the North Central Internet News on November 29, 1998


The Saga of Health Reform: Pat Atkinson Wants Fewer Health Boards and Fully Appointed Boards, by Mario deSantis and reviewed by James deSantis, October 17, 1999


The Big Question for Saskatchewan Health Care: Underfunding or Mismanagement? By Mario deSantis, March 5, 2000


Pat Atkinson: raising the finger and turning healthcare to a gambling casino, by Mario deSantis, February 4, 2000


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


21 out of Saskatchewan's 32 Health districts will report deficit budgets for 1999-2000 totaling $51.3 million Saskatchewan Party Website: http://www.skcaucus.com/news/2000/mar/summary_of_health_district_deficits.htm


The two primary needs of health reform: independence of the districts & booting out the hoodlums, by Mario deSantis, April 7, 2000

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