Health board member quits over Duckett's dismissal
The decision by the Alberta Health Services board to fire Stephen Duckett as CEO and president is prompting some board members to tender their resignations.
Gord Bontje of Red Deer resigned Wednesday shortly after Duckett was dismissed.
He said Duckett's termination is not in the best interests of health care for Albertans.
Duckett took on the task of rebuilding the health system intelligently and passionately, never wavering despite the criticism he received, Bontje said.
He said the government placed Duckett in a difficult position.
"I think it had more to do with attempting to control the communication — leaving Stephen often time in places where he had done great work and was not able to communicate that with the public," Bontje told CBC News.
"I wish that he had been given more of an ability to communicate with the public directly. I think there would have been a different outcome yesterday."
Duckett was fired five days after he refused to speak with reporters about an emergency meeting over the province's ER crisis because he was too busy eating a cookie. Two more members are expected to quit the 14-member board in protest.
The AHS board spent 72 hours debating Duckett's dismissal, and came up with a plan to wait a few weeks before making a final decision, said board chair Ken Hughes. But the Health Minister told him that was unacceptable and wanted a decision made now, he said.
"The minister indicated that he wanted us to review our decision in light of circumstances and the government was not in the position that it wanted Dr. Duckett to continue."
Doctor Chris Eagle, former president of the Calgary Health Region, has been appointed interim president until a replacement is found.