CEO of Health P.E.I. makes more money than the premier

Teresa Wright
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The salary listing for Keith Dewar is listed as $199,600. This is higher than Premier Robert Ghiz’s $136,438 annual salary.

Health Minister Doug Curries speaks at a news conference last Wednesday. At right is Keith Dewar, CEO of Health P.E.I.

The chief executive officer of Health P.E.I. makes more money than the premier of the province.

Keith Dewar is just one of hundreds of provincial employees whose salaries were made public in the legislature Wednesday when Health Minister Doug Currie tabled a list of every salary at Health P.E.I. except those of the agency’s board members.

Currie released these figures as part of the examination of Health P.E.I.’s budget estimates for the year.

But no one asked for them specifically – not even the Opposition. Currie appeared surprised when reporters questioned him on why he chose to table the figures.

He said he was just trying to be up front with Islanders about how their tax dollars are being spent.

“These are paid employees of the province of Prince Edward Island and I see no reason why there would be an issue with tabling any salary that comes from the public purse,” he said.

The list does not name employees, doctors, nurses or other staff but does include position titles and breaks them down by department and even by health centre. Certain key figures, however, are easily identifiable.

The salary listing for Health P.E.I. CEO (Dewar) is listed as $199,600. This is higher than Premier Robert Ghiz’s $136,438 annual salary.

But that’s nothing compared to the executive director for medical affairs, Dr. Richard Wedge, who makes a whopping $275,500 a year.

Base salaries for P.E.I. doctors are also notable. Most family physicians make between $141,300 and $152,500. Specialists such as pediatricians, OBGYNs and anaesthetists make $195,900 to $226,500. And pathologists, the highest paid physicians, make $291,900 a year. These are the doctors’ basic salary ranges however, and do not include other forms of remuneration negotiated under the Master Agreement.

Also notable is the difference in pay between registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs), who are now working more collaboratively since the province’s new model of care was introduced.

An RN in the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, for example, makes between $56,500 and $68,900 while LPNs in that same location and department make $41,800 to $45,500.

Currie dismissed any notion he was trying to point out how much money health professionals earn every year by tabling these salaries.

“I’m tabling them because that is a demonstration of transparency, that is a demonstration of accountability,” Currie said.

“They’re paid by the government of Prince Edward Island and it’s certainly no reflection on the health care professionals in the province, we certainly have great respect and we negotiate contracts and we’re very proud that our contracts are competitive and comparable to other jurisdictions. But if you’re a government employee I feel very comfortable having them tabled.”

He added he would also be tabling the salaries of all employees of health and wellness when that department’s estimates are being examined in the legislature.


Health salaries

Here are a few Health P.E.I. employee salaries and salary ranges The Guardian could identify based on position titles/departments:

Keith Dewar, CEO Health P.E.I.: $199, 600

Dr. Richard Wedge, executive director for medical affairs: $275, 500

Rick Adams, executive director QEH: $137,800

Arlene Gallant-Bernard, executive director PCH: $83,300-$104,100

Pamela Trainor, executive director corporate development & innovation: $87,600-$109,600

Jamie MacDonald, executive director provincial clinical services: $83,300-$104,100

Denise Lewis-Flemming, executive director financial services: $92,200-$115,300

Liam Whitty, executive director health information management: $$75,200-$94,000

Deborah Bradley – executive director community hospitals & primary care: $92,200-$115,300

Cecil Villard, executive director home based and long term care: $83,300-$104,100


Organizations: Health P.E.I. CEO, Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • allison smith
    May 04, 2012 - 07:28

    well Bill Jones and TFM are either part of the problem (board members, -liberal has-beens ) or hoping to get a government contract. From the ways things are going in government now, it is obvious that the best and the brigtest have already left, and we are paying top class salaries for second or third best. If we had the brightest we would not be in this fix now, - let's face it the best and the brightest are not hacking around government, but making their way in the private sector. Why should we expect the best and the brightest anyway, we sure as blazes settle for much less when it comes to politicians.

  • Disgusted Islander
    May 03, 2012 - 19:15

    Smoke and mirrors people! Wake up and see it for what it is! Forget how your grandfather and father voted. Think for yourselves! Come on! There's a motive behind these revelations. Brace yourselves for more cuts. The small hospitals and RNs are next on the chopping block! As a registered nurse, I find it strange how the comparison had to be made in the salaries between RNs and LPNs. It's obvious Currie sees us as interchangeable, or at least will continue to try to convince the public of that. There's a need for both RNs and LPNs. The bottom line is - we have a bunch of greedy, deceptive, knuckleheads in government who have been mismanaging our money for far too long. PEI is finished - makes me very sad. Our future is very bleak. Dark times ahead.

  • Another Islander, Another Opinion
    May 03, 2012 - 14:29

    It's obvious PEI can't afford to have all these administrators. Yes, they administrate the Health System on PEI. Most of the debt is due to incredibly large salaries to people who administrate( in the health care system and other government areas). The front line workers, the ones that are needed, are continually cut with the excuse that the province is too far in debt. That means that services to it's people are jeopardized. I'm sure we all experienced this with the health care system and with other government services. When are the people of PEI going to wake up from their slumber and start demanding a fiscally responsible government that will, for once, work for it's people? Remember, the government doesn't own us, we own the government.

  • Joe Blow
    May 03, 2012 - 14:17

    Those figures are not accurate....just like everything else the government does, this list is only half-assed. But since Currie was so forthcoming with this list, maybe he'll feel the same way when it comes to PNP and tax dollars that have ended up in the wrong hands. As an Island tax payer......I want to know where EVERY PENNY of tax money comes from, I wanna know where EVERY PENNY gets distributed to and I want to know why!!! FULL DISCLOSURE!!! The tax paying public have a right to know where their hard earned tax dollars are going and why!!

  • D
    May 03, 2012 - 14:02

    It is interesting to note that there is a huge chunk of taxes deducted from the Doctors and Nurses who work hard for their money and are often overwhelmed with patient care. This information is coming from a Government who has put us into great debt and brought in the new Collaborative Model of Care and said that it had nothing to do with salaries. Really now? Why compare RN's and LPN's when RN's are usually greater than 40 grand in debt after their 4 years of University compared with 18 grand for 2 years of Practical nursing. Perhaps the government should look at their own salaries. Do we really need an MLA in every community? What ever happened to having an MLA per district, that being Kings, Queens, and Prince? Apparently there are MLA's that need to have chauffer's, who is paying that fee? Who covers the cost of elections, now there is wasted spending.

  • George Folger
    May 03, 2012 - 14:01

    Hey here is what is going on, Currie released the salary info. in hope that people involed will be ticked off and resign, --- after all it is none of his business, Health PEI is arm length, right ? Haha If they are going to get rid of IT, it will take ages, as IT was eatsblished under an act of the legislature, - oh the tangled web we weave--

  • Peter Llewellyn
    May 03, 2012 - 13:54

    If these people were doing a proper job of managing (IF) they could be paid double and health care would be ahead. Robert at $15 to $20 an hour would reflect his marketable skills. The others named in Curries report only have to be compared to the success that they have achieved in managing their Health Care responsibilities to arrive at a marketable rate of pay

  • Rosie
    May 03, 2012 - 13:53

    Why not show all administration and health care workers salaries and show the diversity and heavy topload! This was just a teaser! Health care workers on the front line in acute care work hard for their wages ! Slow down on the electronic charting if they want to save money!That is the big white elephant in health care today!

  • peter haxen
    May 03, 2012 - 13:33

    For anyone suggesting this revelation of salaries is a diversion tactic, they may be right, but here is news. We are on track objecting to the HST and the Plan B, - and in total dismay over all the rest of the crab this government is foisting on us. - Where are they going with this--- will be hear what they are paying the useless deputy that gave us the bio science park ----and should have been send packing - along with Chris Le Claire - and by the way, what did he get in severance when he left, --- keep it coming Currie, all the dirt, --- maybe those people did not eat at a church suopper, but got sick from reading about how this government is screwing the people.

  • TFM
    May 03, 2012 - 13:28

    Bill Jones said it well. These people are NOT over-paid relative to their peers elsewhere. Elsewhere is where the best and brightest will go if their compensation is not only lower than peers but also jealously declaimed by the uninformed sideline observers. Politicians are rarely at the top of the pay heap of the democratic governments in which they serve. Why not? They are rarely trained to the same degree of technical competence, with the years of investment in university tuition as well as foregone earnings that higher paid public servants go through. The exceptions are largely in countries where corruption and public pilfering are rampant, think India, Congo, Zembabwe, Uzbekestan,Nigeria and any of dozens of countries you do not want to live in.

    • look around you
      May 03, 2012 - 19:01

      Are you serious? You think this bunch are the best and brightest? After the job they've done so far, I'd rather try my luck with the worst and the dimmest. And no need to travel if you're looking for rampant corruption and public pilfering - we've got plenty of that.

  • megan macdonald
    May 03, 2012 - 13:25

    FOR THOSE COMMENTATORS WHO THINK THESE SALARIES ARE O.K., - FIRST OF ALL, NONE OF THESE HAVE A ph.d IN ANYTHING, - SECONDLY THEY ARE ALL ISLANDERS DYING TO GET `HOME` OR STAY HOME, TO A MAN, THEY WOULD WORK FOR A THIRD LESS, AND IF THERE WAS ONE AMBITIOUS ENOUGH TO LEAVE, SO BE IT, -- , I AM SURE WE COULD GET BY WITH ONE SECOND BEST. THESE SALARIES Are byond our means and should be rained in,---- Health PEI should be discontinued,(wasing all their stationary and envelopes etc.) we have layers upon layers, - and can`t afford real care, - disgraceful--- most people, but not enough, knew we should not set kids to do grown-up`s work.

    May 03, 2012 - 12:01


  • Yeck
    May 03, 2012 - 11:59

    Get clear of THE GENTLE ISLAND tag, and replace it with Gluttony Island. The more we hear the more this place looks bad. Save money by shaving some fat of the top layer, this is a small island with a small population...........and now I view the hospital telethon as a farce.

  • Old Lady
    May 03, 2012 - 11:57

    We're surprised at the release of this info because we're accustomed to pervasive, intractable government secrecy. It should be noted that the most obscene executive salaries are internally determined by government and are not union-influenced.

  • SW
    May 03, 2012 - 11:30

    The complaining on the Guardian should be refocused to real life. Stop typing, start doing something about. This whole island complains constantly but nothing is being done about it. Lets exercise our rights as the taxpayers and get these greedy people out of the system!!!!!!!!!

  • Bruce
    May 03, 2012 - 10:47

    It is really to bad that Doug Currie can only tell the half truths. The salaries that were presented on represent only a portion of what doctors make. The real money is in the renumerations that they are paid. In most cases doctors make more money with these "Renumeration" than they make on base salary. I think that Islanders have a right to know the amount of renumeration that has been paid out to these doctors.

    May 03, 2012 - 10:33

    These salaries are no different than other provinces the recipients have obtained the appropriate edication and experience and got picked for the job..not everyone has that talent....if you want to be a fisher,be a plumber ,carpenter or a laberour that is your business go out and get the appropriate training....Never mind complaining work hard you get rewarded.....govt is big business...if you think you can do better go out and get educated........besides all these bureaucrats have to work in the PEI politicly charged work environment and that would be no fun and takes someone with a lot of patience,and a thick skin.So quite your complaining and political BS ...that's life in all democratic countries....What is nice to see is the openness.....this should be the norm in all departments...Nova Scotia and other provinces publish all provincial salaries every year in preparing their public accounts....there is no reason NOT to here ....that is the accountability aspect of an open government......The thinking of the bureaucrats on the island is very outdated....time for openness in govt....they work for US..not vice versa.....The power of the people is more important than the people in power......

    • Shellie Brown
      May 03, 2012 - 15:22

      Yeah right, No Big Deal, they have Soooooo much talent they've run Our healthcare system off the rails and into the ground AND too many people are left scared, disabled & suffering for life and others dead because of it, because of the greed. Serious considerations need to be made by provincial government before a good number of these people's contracts are re-negotiated. Liberal - Conservative - NDP makes no difference whichever provincial political parties have power & control over this bullshit from PEI - Newfoundland to British Columbia to the North West Territories and all provinces and whatever else in between.

  • Tired of it all
    May 03, 2012 - 10:27

    I think it's sad that in the same issue of the Guardian we see that the Souris walk-in clinic is being closed for 2 months due to physician shortages and that Health PEI executives make more in 1 year than most other Islanders do in 2 or three years! County Boy, I agree that if you have spent the time and money on your education that you should receive a higher wage. However, the wages that these people are making are ludicrous. I don't mean the doctors and nurses, those people are saving lives and working for their pay. The executives who are making these high wages though are the ones who are depleting funding for Health PEI and the result is closed clinics and Emergency rooms. How many times are Islanders going to elect these types of people? Learn from your mistakes people, and next time you are faced with a decision of who should "run" our government, throw out the old Islander way of voting for the same party every time and elect the person who is best fitted for the job. By the way, that may not always be the person with the most experience, after all we've seen that a life of politics can make someone "jaded" and they no longer do what's best for everyone, just for themselves.

  • Sylvia
    May 03, 2012 - 10:23

    I would like to know the salary of each member of board of Health P.E.I. I think that Islanders are entitled to know how much of our tax money is going to pay their salaries. As far as I'm concerned, any money going to them in salaries is a waste of money.

  • SG
    May 03, 2012 - 09:31

    (Currie appeared surprised when reporters questioned him on why he chose to table the figures. He said he was just trying to be up front with Islanders about how their tax dollars are being spent.)(“I’m tabling them because that is a demonstration of transparency, that is a demonstration of accountability,” Currie said.) Personally I don't see the tabling of Health PEI Employees Salaries as being a demonstration of accountability. What area of Accountability and Transparency does this information cover? Wouldn't the tabling of Gov. Project/Program Expenditures and Gov. Expenses and Expenditures in general be more of a demonstration of transparency and accountability?

  • Bait and switch
    May 03, 2012 - 09:30

    Anyone else find it odd that Mr. Currie released staff salaries without bring asked to? Something that his government refused to do for the last five years since Mr. Currie set up Health PEI and its salaries in the first place. Accountable when it is convenient like when the government gets bad headlines for cutting services.

  • lilley
    May 03, 2012 - 09:23

    No wonder these "Executive Health Care Trough-Feeders" fight to keep tax money flowing for "Health Care for Islanders". Who deserves more SHAME, these "Executives and Ceo's" for benefiting from the health needs of ordinary people, or the Government Hacks who appoint them???

  • Health Care Charities Donor
    May 03, 2012 - 09:20

    I am so very upset to see the two top executives making such exorbitant amounts of money. I donate to health charities that provide local service. I do so because I see more and more cuts to the health care of people and know that being ill makes life difficult enought. I am an old age pensioner with a small private pension, yet would still give back as a service to others. The greed of the administrators who are playing with the lives of the sick, suffering, and poor is inexcusable. I am sure that are better adiminstrators than those who are paid the big salaries, and my bet would be tht they would work for substantially less. Walk the talk boys....if you are cutting services, but the fat from administration too. I am not talking about the person doing the real work in an office, but the fat cats who are grossly overpaid because of named position. Disgusting. Dewar and Wedge should be ashamed and I suggest give 25% to the smaller health charities that actually help voters on PEI with work that would have to be done by Health PEI if not for the cuts.

  • Roger R
    May 03, 2012 - 09:08

    Every dime spent on Keith Dewar and Health PEI is a wasted dime. This is all pathetic duplication. Currie is more active than Bertram but he is running around like a chicken with his head cut off- raising ambulance fees then flip flopping, losing both vascular surgery and dialysis services, and most unforgiveably shutting the Souris ER without notice. Health PEI was no help to Bertram and, despite the millions spent, will be no help to Currie either. There is no value in having two gangs that cannot get their act together. They do not balance each other off. This situation just makes health care worse and wastes precious resources.

  • He's smart
    May 03, 2012 - 09:08

    Looks like Currie is trying to get everyone fired up over salaries so he'll be able to have support cutting jobs. Or maybe he's trying to direct our attention away from other matters? I'm sure the list could be long of what the government whats attention off of.

  • Liberal vs Conservative
    May 03, 2012 - 09:05

    Liberal supporters are blaming the Federal Government for everything and Conservative supporters are blaming the PEI's Provincial Government for everything. When are people going to learn that we live in a democracy and we chose the people sitting in office? No party is any better than the other. If the Liberal ran the country there would be just as many complaints as there are now about the Conservatives and the same deal with our provincial government. Politicians are politicians and politics is politics. Stop blaming governments for everything and realize that if the other side was in office, they'd be doing the exact same thing. Man I hate politics!...and why on earth does everthing come back to that stupid PND...?

  • Scrap Health PEI
    May 03, 2012 - 09:04

    The entire page 3 of today's Guardian is filled with articles about cutbacks that are being done to our Health Care Services. Yet, in the same paper we read about a bunch of bureaucrats being paid gigantic salaries for doing a job that our Minister, Deputy Minister, and civil servants within the provincial Health department are supposed to be doing. Is there something wrong with this picture? You bet. The money spent on Health PEI should be spent on front line services. Scrap PEI. We don't need it. It's another example of wasteful spending of taxpayers' money by this government.

  • Fed Up
    May 03, 2012 - 08:09

    Keith Dewar making more than most doctors...who SAVE lives. These people are making decisions that are taking lives away!! AND these are only salaries.....what about the expense accounts, private chauffeurs, etc. added on to the Premier and others?! All Health PEI salaries - including Currie's - if we are so far in debt, perhaps they could take a cut? They certainly aren't earning what they're making! And most have full-time jobs beside...can we add those salaries?

  • Just an opinion
    May 03, 2012 - 08:06

    Now if only the minister would just release the names and $ regarding the PNP and Tourism contracts.

  • Doctors not Paper-pushers
    May 03, 2012 - 07:55

    If only it were possible to get rid of the non-essential staff at Garfield Street alone, then millions could actually be put toward health care. HealthPEI actually has a human resources department big enough to serve the whole government! Waste...

  • sodisgusted
    May 03, 2012 - 07:39

    Once again the fat cats thrive while the health care of the tax payer declines ; how much could these over fed administrative types contribute to the dialysis patients' extra travel expense, for example and still be vastly overpaid in accord with what this very poor province can afford to pay? That was the refrain of the Liberal government of Catherine Callbeck who stripped 7.5 % from all rank and file employees once upon a long time ago - using the excuse of the province's ability to pay! What a slap in the face of those who most need help to see these atrociouslyl high salaried paper pushers ripping off the public coffers whilst letting the health care go to perdition! One could draw a real parallel between the provincial liberals and the federal mongrels(cons/reform combo) when looking at the monumental wastage committed on our services systems. Perhaps the voters just may wisen up after a couple more years of the same from both of these political yahoos who are supposedly in a position of stewardship of our province and country!

  • B
    May 03, 2012 - 07:38

    "Also notable is the difference in pay between registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs), who are now working more collaboratively since the province’s new model of care was introduced." Also notable would be the difference in education costs to become an RN vs. an LPN... Regardless of who gets paid what (rn vs. lpn)--We don't have enough of either!

  • country boy
    May 03, 2012 - 07:35

    now before everyone gets their nickers in a knot because you make minimum wage, consider the amount of education and training these people go through. If you don't want to pay these salaries then these people will go where they can be compensated for their skill sets. The last thing I want is someone at a minimum wage skill set to operate on me. If you want these kind of salaries go to school and choose degrees and skills that actually will pay you after graduation.

    • bill jones
      May 03, 2012 - 10:22

      Yet another ridiculous story with silly comments from jealous people- do you not know that these people have options and that PEI competes in a talent pool for talent? Why don't we drop the salary of the top health manages in PEI to 80 k and see how much it costs us when the entire system gets screwed up. Senior health administrators make more than the Premier in EVERY PROVINCE. Partially because politicians are paid less than they should be to attract the best people to public life, but also because you need fewer qualifications. Our last few premier's have had bachelor's degrees- a decent health administrator usually has a subject matter PhD and management training via a health management MBA. That means they graduate and join the workforce at 34 and there are 45 of them IN THE COUNTRY competing for 25-30 good jobs- and guess what - this one on PEI isn't one of them. IE the President of the Ottawa Hospital made over $700 k in 2009 and that is just one group of hospitals, not a network of primary and acute care service offerings in a have not place where everything is political.

  • anthony
    May 03, 2012 - 07:11

    The salary of the chief executive officer of Health P.E.I. is higher than the Premier of the Provence of PEI, when it seem Islanders are paying the price for a goverment that was relected in the last last election, and seems to be cutting every health service within the provence and yet they can accept such high salaries, maybe it is time that they take a whooping cut in salaries and leave heath care service alone and improve health care services, such as trying harder to keep the doctors they already have , keeing out patient departments open with staffed doctors and leaving vital health services at the rural hospitals. It is clear this Liberal goverment has broken a good majority of promises, promised to Islanders from the past and present election. Currie stated he is just demonstrating transparency, Islanders would like to see greater transparency in health care, where services are available at all areas of PEI - insteed of cutting and cutting our services.

  • Uncle Wally
    May 03, 2012 - 06:59

    The more factual information provided to Islanders the better. Kudo's to Currie for releasing fact without a lot of spin. Islanders need more facts; we don;t need more justification stories and propaganda (J&P). For a perfect example of the latter, take a gander at Mr. Vessey's J&P on his department's website for his Plan B. He posts this - but refuses to release two consultant reports and the Delphi-MRC report. These reports are paid for the by public but not available to the public. Why? And why isn't the media (Guardian, Graphic, CBC) asking: Why?

  • Quiet Observer
    May 03, 2012 - 06:45

    The salaries of Dewar and Wedge are totally out of line. Rediculous. Especially Wedge. Let him go back to private practice and see what he can make. We don't need someone making that much money in that position. This is a slap in the face to Islanders.

  • Garth Staples
    May 03, 2012 - 05:54

    “They’re paid by the government of Prince Edward Island ; Currie should have added----which receives its money from taxpayers of PEI, Canada and money the Ghiz Govt borrowed.

  • gary naylor
    May 03, 2012 - 04:43


  • AllyOpps
    May 03, 2012 - 03:45

    Diversionary tactic to throw ppl off the scent of PNP

  • Thomas Jacobs
    May 03, 2012 - 00:54

    The real story here is why didn't Currie release the salaries of the board members? He said, “These are paid employees of the province of Prince Edward Island and I see no reason why there would be an issue with tabling any salary that comes from the public purse,” So, Dougie, why not release all of them? Our government is crooked.

  • Ridiculous
    May 02, 2012 - 23:01

    With the exceptions of doctors, nurses and other medical professions, these salaries are ridiculous and the Liberal government should revisit and re-adjust them right away. I think these executive directors and other management folks should be ashamed to receive such ridiculous compensation while dialysis patients have to spend the better part of 3-4 days traveling and waiting for treatment. If these management crew don't like it tell them to go somewhere else if they think they are worth it. It certainly doesn't appear to Islanders that they are doing anything wonderful for health care. And it was the Liberals who created this monster called Health P.E.I. However I do commend Mr. Currie for being open... The Island taxpayers has a right to a lot more of this type of transparency and honesty. Kudos to Mr Currie.

  • SG
    May 02, 2012 - 22:43

    Is this the information our Minister feels Islanders are referring to regarding Accountability?

  • Too Much
    May 02, 2012 - 22:38

    Well hats off to Currie for spilling the beans as it were, however these administrators are all way overpaid. ................This state of affairs is prevalent throughout departments and crown corporations. Lets have a look at where ALL the money goes. Doug is right we are entitled to know.

  • angus
    May 02, 2012 - 22:22

    On PEI? Wow! I really almost dread hearing what other provincial employees make. Has to be unreal in some cases. Maybe it's time we took a look at all salaries the taxpayer supports on PEI. How about a 30% cut across the board for everything over $75,000?