‘Saving’ trees, Ministry of Health style

When is ‘saving a tree’ not ‘saving a tree’? Or rather, how the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care thinks we’re stupid….

I work in the medical field. When I want a lab test done on a patient, I have to give them a lab requisition on paper which they take to the lab. Although my office is completely paperless and we are entirely computerized, we are forced to give patients little pieces of paper to get tests because our health care system, despite spending millions, is not equipped to handle computerized requisitions. These paper requisitions are supplied to physicians’ offices by the Ministry.

So how surprised was I to receive a quaint little note from the Ministry of Health a couple of weeks ago? As of April 1, 2012 they will no longer be supplying physicians with lab requisitions. As of that date medical offices will have to log on   to the Ministry’s website and download and print all requisitions in their office.

I can see why the Ministry would like to download this. It will save them printing costs. What I want is for them to send out a notice saying that ‘as part of cost cutting measures the Ministry will not longer supply the required forms’.

But, nope, that’s not what the Ministry did. They sent out a note say that in an attempt to comply with the green measures of the Government of Ontario they are cutting down on their paper printing.

Now I am guessing that the government printers, producing thousands of copies of these requisitions, are likely more efficient per page (environmentally) than me doing one-offs in my office on my printer. But the Ministry is going to sell this downloading as an environmental issue in which they are cutting down on their printing output and, therefore, making Ontario a better place for all.

I guess I can see why so many people vote for the Harpers and the Fords of this world. When the government communicates with people as if they are children how can we expect people to make educated decisions? These people really think we are all idiots, don’t they?

In the guise of green policy, the Ministry is downloading a printing job to community based practices (a printing job made necessary because of lack of electronic co-ordination by the Ministry) where it is likely to be even less efficient.

Wait for the headlines: “Ministry reduces Printing in massive green policy enhancement”.


By the way, this post is not about the downloading, it’s about the hypocrisy.


One Comment to “‘Saving’ trees, Ministry of Health style”

  1. Now paging Dr. Spin!

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