Alberta Health Services knows that to regain the public's trust after last month's queue-jumping inquiry, there will have to be some work done, AHS president and CEO Dr. Chris Eagle said Thursday.
According to the Calgary Herald, Eagles said in the weeks since the testimony, officials have visited the Forzani and MacPhail Colon Cancer Screening Centre to ensure quality of care has not been affected.
That visit determined the centre's scheduling system is "working the way it's supposed to," said Eagles.
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A controversial memo sent out in 2009 at Alberta Health Services came under fire as it stated that it was not uncommon for health care executives to receive requests for faster care by prominent individuals. Source: Edmonton Journal
In December of 2012, Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman said he has written prescriptions, given advice and diagnosed politicians who dropped by his legislature office but said it wasn't preferential treatment. Source: CP
In November of 2009, Calgary Flames and their families skipped lines and received swine flu shots at a special clinic, as thousands of people waited or were turned away for the H1N1 vaccination. Source: CTV News
An Alberta emergency room doctor told the Alberta Health queue jumping inquiry that medical staff in a busy ER were once pressured to provide care for a "VIP" ahead of a waiting room full of very sick people. Read the full story here.
In 2007, Dr. Brian Day a top doctor in Vancouver and a former president of the Canadian Medical Association admitted to queue jumping on two instances. He said it was not realsistic to expect people to not use their connections when their own or their family's health is at stake. Source: The National Post
The queue-jumping inquiry heard that patients of the private colonoscopy clinic jumped the line to get preferential treatment.
According to CBC Calgary, Eagle said he believes everyone should have equal access to health care and that AHS is now determining the best way to ensure that happens in the future.
“We will look at the evidence from the public inquiry and basically whatever seems to be the best option when all evidence is out — that's what we'll take,” Eagle told the CBC.
Eagles did not go into specifics on what those procedures might be, but did address the need to mend relationships with the public.
“The health-care system works a lot on trust. What I see is some of that trust relationship has been eroded. If I’m on a list for a colonoscopy, I want to know that I’ve got the same chance as everyone else.”
“We’re going to use the public inquiry process to really get to the bottom of what happened there, and obviously we’ll be paying a lot of attention to not only what happens at the colon cancer screening centre, but what kind of policies do we need to have in place for all clinics in Alberta Health Services,” Eagle said.
“This is one instance. You’ve got to make sure that one instance can’t be taking place anywhere else in the system.”
The inquiry has been extended, and further testimony is scheduled to take place this month.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated incorrectly that the Forzani and MacPhail Colon Cancer Screening Centre is a University of Calgary facility. The Forzani and MacPhail Colon Cancer Screening Centre is run by Alberta Health Services. .