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.