EDMONTON, AB (April 15, 2013): PC CLAIM: Responding to questions from Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith on what appear to be private medical expenses for a visit to the Mayo Clinic by a former senior health executive, Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk said, “Travel for executives is not unusual… what is unusual Mr. Speaker is to see somebody’s travel expenses, which very well probably are legitimate, and make innuendos without any factual basis.”
FACT: In the Freedom of Information Request document that can be found here, $6,230.69 dollars is spent on what appears to be medical treatment which was approved by Capital Health. Having taxpayers pay exclusively for the private health treatment of public health executives is far from being “legitimate.”
PC CLAIM: Responding to Smith on a follow up question on the Mayo clinic expenses, Lukaszuk said, “To draw conclusions on documents they haven’t yet received is simply irresponsible and wrong,” and later said, “We have the managing of the health care act at stake… not dealing with their imaginary problems.”
FACT: This document, showing a senior health executive expensing $6,230.69 at the Mayo Clinic, is far from being an “imaginary problem.” If this was or is common practice among executives, the government should release all of the expenses for all of the executives for all of the health regions going back to 2005.
PC CLAIM: Responding to Smith on a follow up question on the Mayo Clinic expenses, Lukaszuk said, “We just had a very extensive queue jumping inquiry, a very extensive queue jumping inquiry, and what did they come up by way of evidence? Nothing, Mr. Speaker.”
FACT: Though Justice Vertes’ report will not be released for months, testimony throughout the inquiry made strong references to instances of queue jumping:
- Clinic referrals got faster action, manager testifies
- Controversial doctor questioned at AB queue-jumping inquiry