Saskatchewan

NDP asks for full list after all-expenses-paid eHealth trips revealed

The Saskatchewan NDP is outraged that employees of the Crown corporation eHealth were taken on all-expenses-paid trips by companies that did business with eHealth.

Health Minister says policy is under review

All conflict of interest policies are still from each individual health region from before amalgamation. Until a new policy is drafted, it will remain that way. (saskatchewan.ca)

The Saskatchewan NDP is outraged that employees of the Crown corporation eHealth were taken on all-expenses-paid trips by companies that did business with eHealth.

Wilbour Craddock told CBC's iTeam he and two other eHealth employees were taken to the 2017 PGA championship in Charlotte, N.C. He said the flights, accommodations, meals and tickets were all paid for by Lexmark, a large printing firm that does business with the government of Saskatchewan.

The employees Craddock travelled with ended up getting fired earlier this year for violating the conflict of interest policy at eHealth, which runs Saskatchewan's electronic health record system. 

The NDP Opposition brought this issue up in the legislature Wednesday. The government pointed out that the workers were dismissed and that no crime had been committed. 

"Not criminal is not good enough," NDP Leader Ryan Meili said. 

Meili said he wanted to know how common these conflict of interest violations were in eHealth and across the government. 

"Where else within the government is this the policy and that this would be allowed? Where else is this happening?" Meili said.

"That's what we've been asking. Let's have a full list. How much vendor-paid travel is going on?"

Meili is also concerned about what's been happening in the Saskatoon Health Region. Its policy allows for vendor-paid trips. 

Recently, all health regions were amalgamated into the Saskatchewan Health Authority but the separate regions' conflict of interest policies are all still in effect. Until a new policy is drafted, it will remain that way. 

Health Minister Jim Reiter said he is concerned about Saskatoon's policy as well and he wants a new, stronger policy in place soon.

"I want as quickly as possible to have a consistent policy right across the province for health care officials on dealing with matters like this."

With files from Geoff Leo

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