EDMONTON, AB (July 25, 2012): A $10-million inquiry that skirts the issue of physician intimidation is a misuse of tax dollars and another violation of the principles of transparency and accountability, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said today.
The current terms of reference restrict the inquiry to the issue of “improper preferential access to publicly funded health services" and not the pressing question of how Alberta Health Services and the Provincial Government bullied medical professionals into silence on their concerns about shortcomings in health care services. Last Spring Premier Alison Redford broke her promise to hold an inquiry that included investigating physician intimidation after a report released by the Health Quality Council of Alberta showed the practice was widespread. “What’s the point in spending millions of dollars on an inquiry when it is designed not to get the answers on how to improve our health care system?” Forsyth said. “Our physicians and front line health care workers, who hold our entire health care system together, deserve better than millions wasted on broken promises.” Forsyth went on to criticize how the government has handled the issue of a health inquiry in the first place. “The priority for Albertans and our health care professionals is an inquiry that is focused on eradicating the culture of bullying and intimidation,” Forsyth said. “The current health inquiry is not designed to get results but only to offer political window dressing for the Premier.”