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HomeCanadian NewsFormer AHS board member slams Premier Smith in scathing letter

Former AHS board member slams Premier Smith in scathing letter


‘I used to be compelled to defend the workers and the group,’ mentioned Tony Dagnone

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A fired Alberta Well being Providers board member is slamming the choice by Premier Danielle Smith to exchange the board with an administrator.

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Tony Dagnone says throughout his lengthy profession in well being care he has labored underneath 15 ministers and eight premiers, and has by no means felt the necessity to criticize political leaders publicly. Nevertheless, he did so on Friday, in a important letter geared toward Smith. He mentioned the premier’s criticism of AHS administration has been unfair and that he felt he wanted to defend the workforce.

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“I used to be compelled to defend the workers and the group,” Dagnone advised Postmedia on Friday. “I feel it’s very unfair to a bunch of people that have labored so laborious to get by COVID underneath large challenges, after which to have essentially the most senior political chief within the province criticize what they’ve completed and what they haven’t completed.”

The feedback got here after Smith and Well being Minister Jason Copping changed the board with administrator Dr. John Cowell on Thursday. Copping mentioned appointing a full-time administrator would enable the federal government to implement plans to enhance the health-care system faster than a part-time board would be capable to. The province needs to handle 4 key areas, which embrace minimizing surgical procedure wait instances and reforming the system long run by consulting with front-line staff.

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Dagnone mentioned the federal government has each proper to alter administration, however he disagreed with the choice to herald an administrator, saying he has seen related strikes prior to now.

“The federal government parachutes in an administrator into the group, that particular person vocalizes — as I discovered in my expertise prior to now — vocalizes plenty of worn-out platitudes to impress these round. Then the administrator will query virtually all the pieces. However that very same particular person has no higher solutions or no higher answer,” mentioned Dagnone.

Dagnone mentioned the previous board would have been prepared to implement the federal government’s plans. He mentioned work on decreasing emergency room waits and bettering ambulance response instances was already underway when the board was fired.

Within the letter that has been shared publicly, Dagnone accused Smith of enjoying to followers who’re anti-science, and mentioned she has a “warped stance” on COVID.

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Smith’s workplace launched a press release Friday saying the choice was not private however was completed to create higher outcomes for Albertans. The premier’s workplace thanked the AHS board for the work they’d completed.

Our well being care system is underneath distinctive strain, and whereas this is a matter throughout the nation, that is additionally a possibility for us to make modifications that deal with the issues of the entrance line and higher meet the wants of sufferers,” learn the assertion. “We have to assist the distinctive entrance line workers throughout our province to do what they do finest, and which means decreasing forms and listening to them and to sufferers.”

Former board member Deborah Apps resigned firstly of October, shortly after Smith was chosen as chief of the United Conservative Celebration. In her resignation letter, considered by Postmedia, Apps mentioned she couldn’t in good religion assist Smith’s choice to exchange the board with a commissioner or an additional “destabilizing” evaluate of the well being authority.

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“Regardless of the challenges we face, analysis has discovered that AHS ranks among the many finest in Canada by way of each value management and administration of an built-in provincial well being group,” wrote Apps. “Nobody had ‘the playbook’ for COVID. Consequently, governments throughout Canada are all wrestling with the impacts of the pandemic: workers burnout, workforce recruitment, affected person wait instances, and facility capability points. There is no such thing as a easy answer, and I worry that the premier-elect’s proposals will additional destabilize the office surroundings.”

Apps mentioned board members had been drawn to their positions to assist remedy points throughout the health-care system, not for financial or political causes.

“Well being care is much too essential to Albertans for use as a ‘political soccer,’ ” wrote Apps.

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Deborah Apps said board members were drawn to their positions to help solve issues within the health care system.
Deborah Apps mentioned board members had been drawn to their positions to assist remedy points throughout the well being care system. Postmedia file photograph

Dr. Myles Leslie, a researcher with the College of Calgary’s Cumming Faculty of Drugs, mentioned it’s in all probability true that an administrator can work sooner to implement the province’s plans, however famous that individuals from numerous walks of life can in all probability see totally different options to every downside. He mentioned he believes Cowell may have plans to handle emergency room waits and ambulance responses primarily based on previous work he has undertaken.

Leslie additionally famous the federal government left measurements for achievement obscure forward of an impending provincial election, and that he believes the federal government has included long-term reforms within the newest bulletins to allow them to act on decentralizing the system ought to they re-form authorities in 2023.

“All people agrees it’s a downside,” mentioned Leslie. “However are we going to maintain doing . . . (fast) fixes, or are we going to go another method and never anticipate prompt outcomes? I wish to see social gathering platforms on that form of stuff,” mentioned Leslie.

He mentioned discovering other ways to handle lengthy wait instances ought to enhance the system considerably, however that the federal government might want to discover further health-care staff to handle supply-and-demand issues.

Copping’s workplace didn’t reply to requests for remark Friday.

dshort@postmedia.com

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