Flames H1N1 shots meant more public vaccinations, says nurse
Public health worker says NHL team would have caused too big a distraction at public clinics
More testimony was heard today on how the Calgary Flames got vaccinated against H1N1 at a private clinic the day before public clinics closed due to a vaccine shortage.
Public health nurse Michelle Bosch testified Monday afternoon at Alberta's queue-jumping inquiry that it was her idea to hold the private clinic for Flames players and their families.
Those looking into Alberta's health-care system heard from Bosch that she didn't want the players to show up at one of the city's four public clinics, for fear the NHL players would be a distraction and a side-show.
Bosch testified someone at Alberta Health Services approved the plan and provided 200 doses of the H1N1 vaccine — four times the amount originally requested.
She testified she was surprised to hear the next day that public clinics were being shutdown because of a shortage of the vaccine and was shocked by the public reaction and ensuing media coverage.
Bosch said as a result of the Flames getting their shots in private, more people were vaccinated at the Brentwood clinic because there wasn't a distraction.
The health worker also said team officials offered her cash and game tickets for the flu shots, but she refused.
Ex-Calgary health boss testimony
The former head of Calgary's health region says he's puzzled why one of his vice-presidents was directing unit supervisors to check on VIP patients.
Jack Davis told the inquiry that patients were already getting good care and may not have wanted senior bureaucrats to know about their private medical problems.
Davis also suggested it was an inherently unfair process, given there is no set definition of who is a VIP.
Davis said he would on occasion call to say "Hi" if a personal friend was receiving health care.
"You'd have to leave the judgment of care to those professionals and I was always comfortable and confident to do that. That doesn't mean we [health officials] wouldn't ask questions," said Davis.
"I would frequently meet with the medical advisory board, which was the department heads, physicians, physicians heads of all the departments and we would get in to many spirited discussions on wait lists and, you know, times to wait, and sometimes even individuals who had waited a long time. The issue would come up but it always came back into their world on the quality of care, which we had to match — try to match that — with resource allocation because to some extent, the amount of care they could deliver is directly related to infrastructure."
Davis was the head of the Calgary Health Region for a decade until 2008 when it was folded into the current Alberta Health Services "superboard."
He said he has no knowledge of queue-jumping and no politicians ever called him asking for fast-track care for themselves or their families.
With files from the Canadian Press