Minister of Health Tyler Shandro has ordered an independent third-party investigation into Alberta Health Services’ response to a racist act in 2016.
“In 2016, a piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital. In August of 2019, I was first made aware of this incident and was reassured by senior officials that the matter was being dealt with appropriately.
“Recently, individuals with first-hand knowledge of the incident have raised this matter again, questioning how AHS handled this matter in 2016. I share their concerns and I am not satisfied that this matter was handled appropriately.
“Racism and bigotry have no place in our health-care system. That’s why I am announcing an independent third-party investigation of how this matter was handled by Alberta Health Services.
“It also appears that the investigation was limited by medical staff bylaws that govern how AHS responds to complaints and disciplines staff. These bylaws have not been updated in more than a decade. Consequently, I have issued a directive requiring AHS to revise their bylaws within 60 days.
“Finally, I will be introducing legislation next week that will increase the number of public representatives on college councils, hearing tribunals and complaint review committees from 25 per cent to 50 per cent – which will increase the public’s oversight of health professions.
“These initial steps are only the beginning. The review, which will be made public, will undoubtedly bring further required changes to our attention. While it may be uncomfortable for some, Albertans demand and expect our health-care system to reject racism and intolerance. If our system failed, we will fix it.”