Friday, July 10, 2009

Alberta seeks to gag health workers ahead of coming wave of irresponsible cutbacks.

Premier Stelmach swears not to raise taxes and Conservative ministers gibber happily about non-existent savings in the millions, to be found in Alberta's already severely underfunded health system. Alberta's Tories are about to deliberately sabotage healthcare in this province rather than even consider funding the system through responsible revenue collection.

And sabotage is easier if the people on the front lines aren't allowed to report it.

CALGARY - Doctors, nurses and opposition parties are voicing concern with Alberta Health Services' new employee code of conduct, arguing the superboard is enforcing unreasonable protocols and muzzling employees from speaking out.

The recently adopted employee standards threaten health-care professionals with termination if they speak publicly about perceived mismanagement within the agency at a time when spending cuts could be on the horizon, critics say.

The code warns employees they must refer all media inquiries about Alberta Health Services' practices and operations to the agency's communications department. It also reminds health professionals to "exercise caution at all times and to choose your words carefully when engaging in any form of public speaking."

Failure to abide by the rules, or engaging in conduct that "adversely affects the interests of Alberta Health Services," could result in disciplinary action or termination, according to the guidelines.

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