New CHR policy bars mobile use while driving

Some doctors are worried a new Calgary Health Region initiative banning cellphone use by its employees while driving could put patients at risk.


On Jan. 1, the region’s policy came into effect prohibiting employees from talking on the phone until they can safely pull off the road.


However, the president of the Calgary and Area Physicians Association Dr. Glenn Comm said the issue isn’t as easy as black and white.


“It’s hard to argue on principle because it’s based on safety but it’s the validity of practice. Sometimes it’s more dangerous to pull off the road in certain areas than it is to not answer the phone,” Comm said.

Comm explains that while obvious discretion should be practised, doctors sometimes need to answer pages and calls especially in matters that could be life or death.

Donald Barker, a CHR wellness strategist, said he has spoken with Comm about doctors’ concerns and told Metro the CHR isn’t forging ahead with the policy to penalize people.

“What we’re trying to do is raise the awareness of the dangers with our employees. We’re not out to get people and enforce penalties, but we want people to think about the way they use their phone while driving,” Barker said.

Going online