Wednesday, June 14, 2017

But an Alberta Health Services (AHS) briefing note shows that on Sept. 28, 2016 — a month before her ministry signed the $4.2-million grant agreement — Hoffman's office was told health officials had previously identified the "potential for negative health effects" resulting from the foundation's distribution of high-dose supplements to vulnerable populations. "Either she has misrepresented the facts inside the house, or her staff haven't provided her with the appropriate information, both of which should be very concerning," Wildrose accountability critic Nathan Cooper said in an interview.


Despite the fiasco of the $10 million dollars upfront by the Horne guy to the folks at Pure North --we've not had any sort  of audit of the poor decision making at Alberta Health.
Then -as if to confirm to us that poor decision making crosses party lines-we have an additional $4.2 million handed over by the NDP folks to a total of $14.2 million.
What is going on in the government of Alberta?
Why are politicians ignoring the advice of experts to do their own thing?
What sort of decision making tree is in place?
Why has this junk been allowed?
When will we get the answers to why these decisions were made by the Auditor General of Alberta?

And when we do get the answers to our questions, who is accountable? Or is it like always-everyone is accountable and no one is penalized?


Looks like no one is accountable for decisions that result in $14.2 million being transferred to an alternative health program with no deliverables that I can determine. When will the Auditor General of Alberta do the audit to show us the money trail and the decision making tree at Alberta Health (if any such decision making tree exists)?
Health Minister Sarah Hoffman either misled the legislature or her senior staff withheld critical information from her about health safety issues related to a program offered…
CBC.CA
LikeShow more reactions
Comment

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/sarah-hoffman-pure-north-alberta-health-1.4116502

CBC INVESTIGATES

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman's credibility questioned on Pure North issue

Internal briefing note raises doubts about Hoffman’s statements in legislature

By Jennie Russell, Charles Rusnell, CBC News Posted: May 16, 2017 5:00 AM MT Last Updated: May 16, 2017 5:00 AM MT
Health Minister Sarah Hoffman has said she knew nothing about health safety issues related to the private health foundation her ministry recently funded.
Health Minister Sarah Hoffman has said she knew nothing about health safety issues related to the private health foundation her ministry recently funded. (CBC News)
1413 shares


Facebook




Twitter




Reddit




Google




Share




Email


Related Stories

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman either misled the legislature or her senior staff withheld critical information from her about health safety issues related to a program offered by a private alternative health foundation to which she approved millions of dollars in funding, an internal briefing note shows.
In a March interview with CBC News, Hoffman said she knew nothing about serious health safety issues identified in government documents related to the Calgary-based Pure North S'Energy Foundation before she  approved a $4.2-million grant to the foundation in October 2016 for a primary-care clinic.
On April 10, in response to questions from Wildrose MLA Tany Yao, Hoffman told the legislature she still had no specific knowledge of health risks associated with the foundation's alternative health program.
But an Alberta Health Services (AHS) briefing note shows that on Sept. 28, 2016 — a month before her ministry signed the $4.2-million grant agreement — Hoffman's office was told health officials had previously identified the "potential for negative health effects" resulting from the foundation's distribution of high-dose supplements to vulnerable populations.
"Either she has misrepresented the facts inside the house, or her staff haven't provided her with the appropriate information, both of which should be very concerning," Wildrose accountability critic Nathan Cooper said in an interview.
The Wildrose obtained the briefing note through a freedom of information request and provided it to CBC News.
Hoffman's press secretary Tim Wilson did not acknowledge an interview request from CBC News last week. Hoffman has also repeatedly refused to answer questions about lobbying and allegations of conflict of interest involving her deputy minister, Carl Amrhein, who was a participant in the Pure North program.
Pure North is a privately run, non-profit foundation that offers an unproven alternative health program involving high doses of supplements, including vitamin D. The foundation focuses its work on vulnerable populations and operates free programs at homeless shelters and drug recovery centres.

'Potential for negative health effects'

The September 2016 briefing note was prepared for Hoffman and AHS chief executive officer Dr. Verna Yiu. Called "Issues and Key Messages," it was intended to alert them to issues about Pure North contained in AHS records that were to be released to CBC News under freedom of information.
Dr. Verna Yiu
A briefing note prepared for AHS Dr. Verna Yiu outlined concerns with the Pure North alternative health program.
Pure North at that time was seeking a total of $50 million in funding to "improve depression and anxiety in the homeless and those suffering from addictions in Calgary and Edmonton" through high-dose vitamin supplements and the removal of mercury-based dental fillings. The briefing note states there is "insufficient evidence" that either treatment works.
CBC News reported in early April that Alberta Health gave Pure North $10 million in December 2013, against the advice of ministry officials, to expand its program ultimately to thousands of Alberta seniors.
The briefing note specifically warns Hoffman and Yiu about an incident, identified by CBC News as occurring at the Calgary Drop-In Centre in 2013, in which AHS dietitians raised concerns about Pure North's supplement program.
"The concerns were about the potential for negative health effects [from the] non-evidence-based practice of providing megadoses of vitamins and minerals exceeding recommended levels," the briefing note states, adding an additional concern was that "the individuals offered these megadoses may not have the ability to properly assess the safety of what is being offered."
A Pure North spokesperson has said the foundation was not told about the drop-in centre incident. Despite the concerns of public health officials, Pure North points to research studies it says show the program is safe and effective.

Minister should be aware of risks

Dr. Alun Edwards, a senior AHS medical director, is quoted in the briefing note as saying the Pure North program "hits the borderline for appropriateness."
Cooper said it is "concerning" that AHS has detailed safety concerns with the Pure North program, yet Hoffman does not appear to be investigating them.
Nathan Cooper
Wildrose accountability critic Nathan Cooper says Hoffman needs to explain a briefing note that appears to contradict her public statements. (Legislative Assembly of Alberta)
"The minister absolutely must be aware of any risks or concerns with the ongoings of the program," he said. "She is the one that needs to be responsible to ensure that those who are engaged in the program are safe and receiving appropriate care."
When Hoffman became health minister in 2015, she refused, based on advice from her officials, to give Pure North more funding for its seniors program. But in October 2016, her ministry signed a grant with the foundation for a nurse-practitioner-led primary care clinic in Calgary. The grant is worth up to $4.2 million over several years.
Hoffman has insisted Pure North will not be offering any of its alternative-health treatments at its primary care clinic and it will not refer patients to its other program.
Cooper said the Wildrose will continue to press for answers from Hoffman in the legislature.
"We are seeing a track record from this government of a lack of openness and transparency" Cooper said. "And now we see the health department ducking and weaving on a very, very important issue of transparency."  
Alberta Health Services briefing note - Sept. 28, 2016 by CBC Edmonton on Scribd



Sometimes folks get discouraged and you feel like helping them but it's a hard slog to get any returns for your work and then most of us give up.
It's important to keep trucking. Most problems are not fixable by any of us and what usually happens is that the problems go on until a critical number of folks get fed up as we did in the last provincial election and turf out the folks who are not performing.
I see that this time around we also have folks in government who aren't performing and we're considered to be anti-government when we complain. This is so rich. If we didn't complain do you think we'd even get the scraps of work we do now?
Government isn't performing. We know it is not. We understand that there are some folks working and that there are others with titles, salaries, expense accounts, benefits, pension plans that we pay for who are simply turf guarding. I don't feel we should pay for them. We're not a charity. We're working hard for the taxes we give to government and each and every person we pay for should work.
It is a concept that seems foreign to some of the employees who believe that we are an inexhaustible source of cash and labour. I guess if folks don't complain the help think these sorts of entitled things. What's even more bewildering to me is that we are supposed to suck up the problems and their costs as if we were dumb and could not see the problems. What the heck?
We are acquiring debt like dogs acquire fleas and marshes do their cattails. I get it that we have an infrastructure deficit but I don't get it that we should be putting money into the hands of private companies and foundations like Pure North and suck up these decisions. Why are we supposed to keep silent about poor decision making? And when will we see the pattern of poor decision making revealed to us by the Auditor General of Alberta in this particular case?
Minister should be aware of risks
Dr. Alun Edwards, a senior AHS medical director, is quoted in the briefing note as saying the Pure North program "hits the borderline for appropriateness."
Cooper said it is "concerning" that AHS has detailed safety concerns with the Pure North program, yet Hoffman does not appear to be investigating them.
"The minister absolutely must be aware of any risks or concerns with the ongoings of the program," he said. "She is the one that needs to be responsible to ensure that those who are engaged in the program are safe and receiving appropriate care."

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman either misled the legislature or her senior staff withheld critical information from her about health safety issues related to a…
CBC.CA

LikeShow more reactions
Comment
Comments

No comments:

Post a Comment