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   Volume 81 - Issue 16 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“If you go out alone, you will immensely increase your risk of a bear encounter.”
- Amit Saxena  
Bear Specialist   


The Alberta Medical Association announced on Friday, April 15th that it would be calling for a formal public inquiry into allegations that the provincial health board has been intimidating doctors who criticize the system.
The announcement came shortly after several Alberta health officials wrote letters to government officials requesting a formal inquiry.
Crowsnest Pass familiy physician Dr. Allan Garbutt wrote a letter on March 31st to Alberta Liberal party leader Dr. David Swann, a former Pincher Creek doctor, who has been leading the charge for the inquiry.
In the letter, Garbutt said he feared financial devastation if he did not cooperate with the health region.
Garbutt described his efforts to advocate for patients by attempting to obtain a specialized C-arm x-ray machine for the Crowsnest Pass Health Centre, the request for which was repeatedly stonewalled.
When Garbutt and another doctor were quoted in a Lethbridge Herald article a few years ago with remarks critical of the health region’s handling of primary care networks, Garbutt says both doctors received letters threatening them with legal action.
In an interview with the Pass Herald, Garbutt said he made the decision to write the letter to Swann after he was personally contacted by the provincial Liberal leader, asking if he had ever been personally intimidated.
“That prompted me to come off the fence,” said Garbutt. “I knew this had been happening, and I was not the only victim.”
He said he initially feared additional backlash for writing the letter, but he was still firm in his belief that it was important cause.
“You can’t keep quiet forever,” he said.
Alberta Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky said on April 13th that the Health Quality Council of Alberta was in the midst of a review, and that a public inquiry was not the route it would be taking.
Two days later, the Alberta Medical Association announced that the public inquiry would be going ahead.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 16 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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