Departure of BC Cancer president prompts questions about friction with province

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President of BC Cancer agency steps down
WATCH: The president of the B.C. Cancer Agency has stepped down – Mar 5, 2019

The abrupt resignation of the president of BC Cancer Agency has prompted questions about friction between the organization and the province.

Agency president Dr. Malcolm Moore announced he was stepping down on Tuesday in what he described as a personal decision.

Moore led the agency for three years, and colleagues describe him as a brilliant leader with a legacy of achievement.

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He is also the third president to quit the agency in less than a decade.

“I think he’s really stabilized things there, that BC Cancer has had outstanding outcomes, especially in the last year,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

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Sources tell Global News that Moore had become increasingly frustrated with both the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and the Health Ministry.

But the PHSA says it received no complaints of dissatisfaction from the agency’s leadership.

“I interact a lot with the scientific community and the clinical community; I have not heard any of that,” said PHSA president Carl Roy.

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Moore and other physicians were interviewed as a part of an organizational review. The report, released last year and obtained by Global News, identified several concerns.

Those included an insufficient opportunity for medical staff input and consultation as a part of PHSA’s strategic planning.

The report also highlighted the “perception of a ‘top-down’ approach by PHSA leadership and limited consultation on key decisions that impact medical staff.”

Furthermore, the report identified a perception by medical leaders that the board did not understand the populations served or the services delivered and was “too far removed from medical staff to make informed decisions about patient care.”

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Opposition health critic Norm Letnick said the departure should raise concerns.

“Is this something that PHSA has a difficult problem with, co-ordinating their new mandate given to them with the aspirations of the different organizations in this province?” he said.

But Dix insists the province has taken a hands-off approach to the agency’s management.

“The people making decisions about cancer are BC Cancer,” he said. “And that is the case and that will be continuing as the case.”

The health authority says Moore is stepping down at the end of April to move to Ontario. An internal search for a replacement has already begun.

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