Opposition demand health care review
It was a rare sight in the legislature as all four opposition parties and an independent MLA joined forces to push the Stelmach Government to open a public inquiry into the alleged health care crisis.
Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, NDP Leader Brian Mason, Alberta Party Acting Leader Sue Huff, and Independent MLA Dr. Raj Sherman came together Friday morning to speak to the media.
A lawsuit surfaced on Thursday that was filed back in 2004 by Dr. Ciaran McNamee. He claims he began having concerns over wait times for thoracic surgeries at Edmonton hospitals in 1998.
The opposition parties call the allegations serious and are demanding answers from the province.
"Without a public inquiry conducted independent of government interference and intimidation, Albertans will be left to wonder just how many more cases like Dr. Ciaran McNamee's are out there," said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith.
The move comes just one day after the province vowed to look into allegations of poor care and long wait times.
The alleged crisis came to light after independent MLA Dr. Raj Sherman demanded a public inquiry into allegations of compromised health care.
He alleged in the early years of the last decade, hundreds of Albertans died while waiting for cancer surgery.
Both the premier and the health minister maintain the inquiry is focused on emergency wait times and cancer care services, but they admit Sherman's claims may be explored in the review.
Sherman also alleged doctors were paid millions to keep quiet. The council will not be asked to look into that particular claim.
The health minister assures any witnesses will have immunity from being punished by authorities for any information they provide.
A timeline has not been provided for the review. Once complete, the results will go to the health minister.
(With files from ctvedmonton.ca)