Monday, October 31, 2011

Calgary Sun

Premier Alison Redford renewed vows for a public inquiry in the wake of a damning health report, just as critics blasted her with charges she’s “waffling” from earlier promises.



Redford said she’ll make good on her pledge for a public, judicial inquiry into allegations of political interference in the health system by granting additional powers to Health Quality Council of Alberta, which revealed a culture of fear among Alberta doctors.

Redford said she wanted all along to have a judge-led inquiry into further issues, such as accusations of MLAs jumping health wait lists.

While she wants to wait for the HQCA’s final findings, she said new legislation will be introduced in the fall session to make the council independent with more power.

“We’re going to create legislation to allow the Health Quality Council to call that inquiry with full powers of a public inquiry, a judicial inquiry, the ability to have a judge-led inquiry to compel witnesses and that’s really what a judicial inquiry is about so that becomes the next step,” she said Saturday.

It will be up to whomever heads the inquiry how much of it will be public but it must be independent, she added.

But Alberta Liberal leader Raj Sherman, whose claim that 250 lung cancer patients on a list of 1,200 died while waiting for surgery was part of the HQCA investigation, said the issues need to be addressed in an open court.

“There has to be some accountability, this is a closed-door process, behind the scenes,” he said.

“So the premier is waffling and backtracking — they don’t want this out in the public.”

He said the HQCA should report independently to the legislative assembly about other matters for quality assurance, but with respect to the cancer issue, it doesn’t need special powers.

“We have something called the Public Inquiries Act, I see no reason why they are trying to do new legislation to address the cancer issue,” he said.

“We have a Public Inquiries Act, call a public inquiry.”

Sherman said HQCA head Dr. John Cowell wasn’t able to find evidence of the cancer patient claims because some doctors with the information will not testify unless they are legally protected.

“They are ready to testify but want to do it in an open manner — they don’t trust the HQCA process because of relationships that they have with AHS,” he said.

David Eggen, executive director of Friends of Medicare, said Redford’s plan to give the HQCA new powers is not keeping her promise.

“She promised an independent judicial inquiry, she is going to try to create some made up version of that,” he said.

“She is a lawyer, she knows what a public inquiry should be — you can’t just cobble it together from some council she has already.”

katie.schneider@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNkschneider

1 comment:

JanS. said...

I support an inquiry as I’m pro medicare but not alta health “care”

i'm most definitely hesitant about Alta Health "care" and the interpretation of prevention with the new minsiter eg: prevention is ongoing - roughly equiv to profiling.. Now that i have learned that what alta health meant in disallowing sterilization in the lelainie muir case is that they meant to leave me mystically as the exception as no mic promotions also occurred advertising Litton industries. i would be the lay knee Janine Sakowicz (nin ja knee in i am not).([for those who haven't been following the ongoing saga ...my knees were subjected to 6 kick back surgery after maiming near complete as physical contraceptive in Ont.. With human trafficking software of the kind from tlc engineering flr 6 plus logistics from robotics you have nasty- sterilized anyway) see: http://dissmenot.blogspot.com to delve into the Edmonton street ludzie experience.

Though i was ever so miserable under the quasi democratic reign of engineers on the health board and right populism of censusn' i was expulsed from Alberta with diabolical violence having been left for dead earlier jan.2005. Later 2008 more genital mutilation. Gifted with the insights of nwo quasi democracies, I can easily wonder if Mr. zwosdecky (Jan 2010 ) is a dachau uke as the misprint makes reference to the “spermacidic” marketing tactics by the McEachern marketing group of contractors from Thunder Bay, ont., Canada?. Is FOM just another unholy alliance of blue machine soakcred and eugenics. But my feel no pain extremely wealthy profiting cousins from Wpg can hardly keep up with the innuendo since Florida humour changed its border. No matter that the precedence set by zwosdecky for family unit medicine or whatever,,,when the system breaches contracts and breaks the laws by divulging personal health info to in my case relatives that do not have modern opinions or knowledge about psychiatry it is the the cheapest way for the system to envoke punishment for critics of medicare or anyone criticizing docs. Just as in nazi Germany docs too need criticism. Clients/ consumers rights need to be defended by consumers.