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Independent committee calls health quality results 'disturbing'
Julia Parrish, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Thursday, October 27, 2011 4:20PM MDT
Although the Health Quality Council of Alberta admits their work on an independent review is not yet finished, a second interim report on the state of health care in Alberta was released Thursday.
The council said their results have shown recent improvement in emergency room crowding and wait times, but their statistics are showing signs that emergency rooms across the province could be returning back to previous patterns.
"We have interviewed many who are associated with the system," Dr, John Cowell, CEO of the HQCA said in a phone interview with CTV News from Calgary Thursday. "I can tell you the stories are very disturbing and often very sad."
As part of the review, the council conducted seventy interviews, and combed through 600 patient charts.
The council says it's found evidence of patient safety being stretched to the limit due to overcrowding in emergency rooms.
The results released Thursday also outlined evidence that health care professionals advocating for patient care were mistreated.
"Boundaries of authority, accountability and responsibility were often between the Alberta Government and Alberta Health Services and the regulatory service were blurred, confusing, and inconsistent," Dr. Cowell said.
Cowell told CTV News that intimidation is a human condition and the council is looking for physicians to interview – as they try to work out how wide-spread mistreatment was.
So far, the council has not found any evidence of inappropriate payments, after it was alleged hush money was paid to cover up problems in the system.
With files from Kevin Armstrong