eHealth third-party review was never started
TORONTO - The opposition parties are asking for answers amid revelations that a promised, and then cancelled, independent review of scandal-plagued eHealth Ontario never got underway.
Documents obtained by the New Democrats under Freedom of Information laws show no contract was ever signed for PriceWaterhouseCoopers to begin a third-party review of the agency.
The government has said it cancelled the review because it would have duplicated efforts by Ontario's auditor general, who is also probing the agency.
But NDP critic France Gelinas says the newly released documents show that the government never planned to go ahead with the independent report.
She says Health Minister David Caplan and Premier Dalton McGuinty have some explaining to do after suggesting in the legislature that the review was underway and that results could be expected by the end of the summer.
A spokeswoman for eHealth confirms the review was never launched, saying the board asked Caplan to drop it after initial consultations with PriceWaterhouseCoopers because there would have been too much duplication with the auditor general's report.
Progressive Conservative Lisa MacLeod says the lack of any contract shows the whole process was a smokescreen and wants to bring eHealth in for all-party questioning to get some answers.
The government had said PriceWaterhouseCoopers would look into procurement practices at the provincial agency, which is working to create electronic health records for Ontario residents, and would report back this summer -- but the plan was quietly dropped by Caplan last month.
Caplan was not immediately available for comment.