Health-care boss apologizes for brush-off

Stephen Duckett, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, apologizes for brushing off reporters' questions about the beleaguered health care system.

Stephen Duckett, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, has apologized for brushing off reporters' questions about the beleaguered health care system.

Emerging from a daylong meeting in Edmonton on Friday between doctors and Alberta Health Services to address overcrowding in the province's emergency rooms, Duckett rushed past reporters.

"We have issued a media advisory … isn't it ridiculous that the media are not prepared to go to the media scrum, and I'm eating my cookie," Duckett said as he rushed down the street.

On Saturday, Duckett posted an apology for his actions on his blog.

"The meeting made great progress," he wrote. "That success has to some extent been overshadowed by my poor responses to the media afterwards, which I deeply regret and for which I apologize unreservedly. I certainly respect the media's right to ask timely questions in the public interest."

Duckett went on to say: "Most regrettably, I did not convey what I deeply feel, which is the greatest respect for the difficult challenges our health care providers face every day, and their innumerable achievements, and what those challenges and achievements mean for our patients and their families."