I was hesitant to write about the Government of Alberta’s organization of H1N1 vaccinations because I did not want to make light, or political, of an important public health issue. Tonight, after reading and listening to Health Minister Ron Liepert‘s mixed messages on the H1N1 vaccinations, I cannot help but think that he might just making it up as he goes along.
I suspect that a large part of the communications problem may be Minister Liepert himself. The man is a blunt instrument and his track record of irrational confrontation probably does not make him the best person to be the public face of the fight against H1N1. I would suggest that a gentler face, like Urban Affairs and Housing Minister Yvonne Fritz, a former nurse and veteran MLA, would probably make a better public face for the Government of Alberta’s handling of H1N1. I was impressed with how Fritz’s handled the H1N1-related questions she was asked in Question Period last week.
I want to have confidence that our government will be prepared to deal with the H1N1 situation if it becomes worse. I have confidence in the health care professionals who are implementing the vaccination plans, but Minister Liepert’s mixed messaging is making me believe less so of our elected officials.
(ht to Chris Labossiere, who has also written about Alberta’s H1N1 situation)