EDMONTON, AB (October 31, 2013): Today, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth called on Associate Minister of Accountability, Transparency and Transformation Don Scott to fix his mistake and ensure doctors are protected under strengthened whistleblower legislation.
The Justice Vertes’ report into Alberta’s health care system released in August calls for whistleblower legislation to be expanded and says that it currently, “does not apply to independent contractors such as physicians or other health care providers.” This despite Scott saying the current legislation will cover, “health care professionals” and is setting a “gold standard.” “Hardly a day goes by where I don’t hear about doctors who are seeking protection against a broken health care system,” Forsyth said. “Minister Scott knew from the start that doctors were not protected under this weak legislation. Our front line workers, who hold our entire health care system together, deserve much better.” Last year, the PC government shot down 21 Wildrose amendments to the whistleblower legislation, which included protecting all health professionals and all provincially licensed health and seniors’ facilities. “Justice Vertes said in his report that physicians have a responsibility to consider the well-being of society in matters affecting health,” Forsyth said. “It is Minister Scott’s responsibility to commit today to bringing forth legislation this session so doctors don’t go one more day without protection.”