Technology complicates matters

It is highly doubtful that front-line workers are consulted when building these wonder-kid database programs.

To the Editor,

Re: Doctors lose confidence in health system, July 5.

Health services, social services and employment services all have one thing in common – technology that complicates matters rather than simplifies it.

When you replace front-line, hands-on worker expertise with technical expertise that’s far removed from front-line services, you end up with overly complicated systems that serve a database more often than people. It is highly doubtful that front-line workers are consulted when building these wonder-kid database programs.

The government replaced the employment services database about five years ago. The new system had glitches and computer crashes unlimited. Career counsellors were replaced with data-entry clerks filling in multiple checks and boxes far removed from clients’ real needs.

Technology should be used to make it easier to serve the needs of people – not to complicate it. I’m starting to wonder if the ‘tech experts’ are deliberately creating complex systems as a means to create permanent jobs for themselves. If they can’t simplify processes, they may not be that smart after all.

I’m guessing the B.C. government had a hand in the health services mess. Perhaps we need an iVoteYouOut plan during the next election. We need to rally behind a demand to have government technology simplified to serve citizen needs – not bureaucratic databases that reduce us all to numbers.

Jan MooreGabriola Island