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Time for AHS to stop the distractions and focus on fixing health care system: Forsyth

EDMONTON, AB (October 31, 2014): After news of the Alberta government’s $900,000 settlement with former Alberta Health Services’ Chief Financial Officer Allaudin Merali, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said today it’s now time to close the book on the Merali fiasco and focus on fixing the real problems facing Alberta’s health care system.

Merali is receiving the high-priced settlement as a result of the lawsuit leveled on the province’s health authority.  The payout is on top of the $1 million he received when he left Capital Health and the over $13,000 per month he receives as a result of the retirement package he took in 2009.

“It’s extremely disappointing that this ongoing scandal resulted in our health care system losing even more dollars that should have been spent on treating patients,” Forsyth said.  “It’s time to close the chapter on this story of mismanagement and begin focusing on positive solutions to end this type of waste and improve access and outcomes for patients.”

The Wildrose has a positive and prudent plan to cap severances and bonuses for all senior managers across all government departments, including throughout Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

Forsyth said while Albertans are extremely disappointed with how the Merali affair has been handled, it’s time the government starts responding to the ongoing crisis facing our long-term care system and growing wait times in emergency rooms and for key treatments and procedures.

“This news doesn’t bring us any closer to getting seniors stuck in hospital beds into long-term care nursing beds, or helping patients who have waited almost a year for hip or knee surgery,” Forsyth said. “The Wildrose has a plan to give Albertans a new generation of leadership that puts an end to the scandals and brings in real, positive change to our health care system.”