For two months, I have been calling for an inquiry into problems within the health care system. This session of the legislature it seems like another doctor comes forward complaining of intimidation by Alberta Health Services or the regional board that preceded it.
The government bent already and called a Health Quality Council (HQCA) investigation into cases of compromised ER care and possible cases of delayed cancer care. The HQCA review, which reports directly to the Minister of Health as opposed to the Legislature or people of Alberta, is meant to investigate wait times and issues of patient care but are ill-equipped to investigate the intimidation of healthcare professionals. The reason for this is that the HQCA is unable to subpoena witnesses or financial records and cannot does not provide protection for doctors to reveal details that have been sealed within non-disclosure agreements.
Our health care workers are among the best in the country and deserve an opportunity to testify and make public any intimidation from AHS or from the government they have suffered without fear of retribution.
The Alberta Liberal Caucus and I will continue to call for this inquiry until one is called. We are not the only group who sees this inquiry as the only way to move forward. The Alberta Medical Association, which represents over 6500 doctors and 3500 retired doctors, students and residents, have now called for the same. Just this week, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, which represents 21000 allied health professionals, has also called for a public inquiry.
Please write to or e-mail the Premier (email@example.com) and Health Minister (firstname.lastname@example.org) and copy my office (Calgary.email@example.com). It will take letters such as yours to save our health system by calling a public inquiry. Our health workers need to be free from fear and intimidation if they are to be able to deliver the quality of care that Albertans need and deserve.