Promise kept on health inquiry, Redford says
Alberta Premier Alison Redford is defending her government's decision to call an independent public inquiry into health care queue-jumping instead of examining the broader issue of physician intimidation.
"I, in my heart, believe and know that the commitment I made last June is the commitment that we honoured this week," Redford said in a conference call from Chicago.
"I want to make sure that we dealt with queue-jumping in the health care system."
On Tuesday, Health Minister Fred Horne announced the government would accept all 21 recommendations in a report by the Health Quality Council of Alberta.
The report found widespread example of physicians being intimidated and silenced when they advocated for their patients.
Redford said on Friday that physician intimidation would be subject to a public inquiry, but then seemingly made an about-face this week by stating that no further investigation was needed as the issue was fully examined in the HQC report.
That prompted widespread criticism from opposition members who claimed Redford was breaking a promise.
Doctors weren't happy either. Alberta Medical Association president Linda Slocombe said on Wednesday that a broader inquiry was needed.