EDMONTON, AB (March 1, 2013): Unprecedented intervention by Health Minister Fred Horne into the independent health inquiry is just another extension of the PC pattern of intimidation and effort to whitewash the inquiry, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today. Premier Alison Redford broke her leadership campaign promise to call a health inquiry that would look into doctor intimidation and queue jumping, but the current inquiry was set with a narrow scope to investigate whether or not queue jumping is occurring in the health system.
“This is just another instance of Ms. Redford saying one thing and doing another,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “She promised a full health inquiry but chose a narrow one instead; she said she respects independent offices, but now intervenes in a judge-led inquiry.” With serious revelations of possible corruption and queue jumping occurring at the Helios Wellness Centre in Calgary, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said said it is clear that the PC government has no interest in identifying and cleaning up the problems in Alberta’s healthcare system with this latest move by Minister Horne. “This is unprecedented, unwarranted and a completely irresponsible move by the Health Minister,” Forsyth said. “Using a heavy hand to try and hide and interfere in an investigation identifying serious issues in our healthcare system is just more evidence of this government’s pattern of bullying and intimidation.” The Wildrose has long advocated for health reform that improves patient care, reduces wait times and directs resources to the front lines and not a heavily centralized health superboard. “Part of improving our healthcare system is to identify problems, eradicate them and fix them,” Forsyth said. “That means allowing for an independent judge to do his job.”