Edmonton-Meadowlark PC MLA Raj Sherman shocked political watchers and his own party’s establishment this week when he sent out a blunt email taking the government and Alberta Health Services to task over emergency room wait times. Dr. Sherman, a doctor and parliamentary assistant for Heath & Wellness, had been quiet about the wait times situation until this week. Dr. Sherman told CBC that he was on the verge of quitting the PC caucus this week, a road he decided against taking after discussing his concerns with the Premier.
From: Raj Sherman
Date: November 17, 2010 7:29:44 AM MST
To: Ed Stelmech, Gene Zwozdesky , jay ramotar , “firstname.lastname@example.org” , dave hancock , “email@example.com” , Lloyd Snelgrove , “firstname.lastname@example.org” , “email@example.com”, Doug Elniski , “firstname.lastname@example.org” , “email@example.com” , “firstname.lastname@example.org” ,”email@example.com”
Cc: “firstname.lastname@example.org” , “email@example.com” , Lau Huynh , David and Elizabeth Ariano , Robert Terry Kruhlak , “firstname.lastname@example.org” , “email@example.com” , “firstname.lastname@example.org”, “email@example.com” , “firstname.lastname@example.org” , “email@example.com” , David Bond , “firstname.lastname@example.org” , Stan Poplawski , “email@example.com” , Brian Holroyd , Paul Parks, Chris Evans , Ross Purser , “firstname.lastname@example.org” , “email@example.com” , PJ White, Dave Coutts , ‘Uwe Welz’ , sandy gillis
Subject: RE: The Overcrowding Crisis
Please accept my aoplogies.
I have forwarded many old emails to the current minister and deputy minister to place into context again for the fourth minister, the fourth CEO, and the third deputy minister, the underlying causes of the healthcare system woes leading to the emergency crisis that we have on our hands today (and have had for the past 5-6 years).
Many of the emails received by me as section president and as an elected member of the legislature, from our emergency colleagues, were received in confidence and many wished for me to keep their name out of it for fear of what the government or Capital Health and now AHS would do to our privileges. With AHS’ code of conduct, I did not want to put you or anyone at risk. I am sorry that I did not remember our conversation and your willingness to share your name.
I am whole heartedly in agreement with you. Three weeks ago, I offered the current minister my resignation as the parliametary assistant as I can no longer support the halthcare decisions made by AHS as well as some of those made by our government.
The premier made a promise to the ER doctors in writing and has broken his promise not only to the ER doctors, but also to the seniors, the 1.8 million Albertans who present for emergency care and their 2 million family members, and to all frontline healthcare professionals.
I will be meeting the premier today and my progressive conservative caucas colleagues tomorrow to discuss my future in his government as my trust in him and his cabinet is severly tarnished.
I must thank you for your passion and your rebuke of me (usually, I got heck for not hiding the names. Ask Chris Evans) as well as your courage to put your neck on the line. It’s time that I also take one for my the team that I trust, the front line ER doctors. Please stay tuned for my public comments.
Thank you for reminding me why I ran for public service in the first place!
Dear Political colleagues….meet my lifelong physician colleagues.
I hope that you don’t mind, I will be passing this letter onto my elected colleagues as well.
If it is any consolation, please feel comforted with the fact that I still work on Sundays and see the disaters happening including those of my father where he waits in the emergency room like anyone else….and he has had 5 near death experience this year alone in the emergency departments. A few months ago, his ambulance was diverted from a few blocks near the UofA hospital and he arrived to your emergency department, on the other end of town and had a wonderful tour of South Edmonton when he arrived ashen grey, sweaty, suffocating, with an oxygen saturation of 70% on 16 L of oxygen….and seconds away from death!!! Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Lau Nguyen and the Grey Nuns staff…he lives today, barely!
…and please do NOT feel comforted that healthcare will be any better with AHS’ inadequate plan to deal with the crisis and disasters that we will be facing in the 4 winter months ahead.
…and now, after this email, I will await my rebuke from my political colleagues….geeeeesh…a brown guy just can’t win…As Russel Peter’s says…”SOMEBODY GONNA GET HURT”….LOL…..a little bit of humor into what is a sad and very tragic situation…
Feel free to forward to whomever you wish
A big thanks to a daveberta.ca reader for passing along this email.
UPDATE: The opposition Liberals will be calling for an emergency debate on health care this afternoon. According to a tweet by Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid: “Sherman says he will support emergency health debate.”