Flu program defended - Metro US

Flu program defended

Alberta’s health minister is defending the province’s pandemic plan as the province’s opposition party calls for his resignation.

Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann called for Ron Liepert’s resignation yesterday morning outside the closed Richmond Diagnostic Centre clinic in Calgary.

“This closure is evidence this government has no capacity to manage a pandemic. It’s further evidence of neglect, political interference and mismanagement,” Swann said, adding there is doubt the government can manage a provincewide health authority in wake of the H1N1 fiasco.

“If they can’t manage a flu clinic, can we trust them to manage our health system?”

But Liepert fired back yesterday afternoon, denying any political interference and dismissing resignation calls while also admitting some things could have gone more smoothly.

“Could we have done better? Absolutely. I don’t think there is anything we can’t do better,” Liepert said, blaming the shortage of vaccine and high demand as the main problems.

Swann accused the government of mismanaging the clinics by giving vaccine to everyone and not turning away those who were not high-risk, but Liepert defended the decision.

“I am not going to accept the word mistake when today most recent numbers (say) over 400,000 Albertans have been immunized. That’s 400,000 Albertans who don’t need to access our hospitals,” Liepert said.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Andre Corriveau, said Alberta Health Services is finalizing plans to continue immunization early this week for high-risk Albertans.

Corriveau said the plan might include having specific clinics for only one group of high-risk Albertans, such as pregnant women or seniors.

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