Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Alberta Sterilization

Whenever I see the words Alberta and Sterilization in the same sentence I think of Alberta's eugenics program the Alberta Social Credit Party thought up in the 1930's. This program was ended by Peter Lougheed in 1972.

But no, this time it had to do with another controversy about patient care and proper sterilization. A clinic in Calgary began charging $5 or $10 fees to patient to cover the expense of sterilizing instruments used during the patient's visit.

Naturally there was a negative reaction. By the end of the day the College of Physicians & Surgeons ordered the clinic to stop collecting this fee.

What surprised me about the social media reactions, and the MSM reactions is that few really understood the background of this problem. In early 2007 a small town Hospital in Vegreville Alberta was found to be following insufficient sterilization techniques. Further investigation revealed that a significant number of patients were probably infected with HIV/Aids and or Hepatitis. The Government has yet to reveal any figures on how many innocent patients were infected. As far as I know, no one was fired.

As a result of this and other similar problem, the Government began a lets get really really serious about sterilization now program. This resulted in Clinics being forced into buying more modern equipment. Hence the Calgary Clinic trying to find a way to cover its costs.

My question is fairly simple. How can a modern Health Care System, populated by well educated medical professionals fall down on something as basic as germ control. The two basic problems are transparency and management. In 2007 no one really knew the extent of the sterilization problem and could not find out. The Health Board that ran the Vegreville Hospital was made up of Political Appointees. The Government protected its appointees, who were ultimately accountable.

I don't really see where anything has changed since 2007.

Some links:
CBC Clinic Charges Sterilization Fee
Vegreville Hospital
Some other possible related links Please recommend this post

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