Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stelmach and Liepert: a comedy duo.

What a mess.  Alberta close H1N1 clinics to public.

Alberta Health Minister Ron Liepert Oct 30, 2009: "We launched this program with the ask that the first week would be for those who were most susceptible and at high risk. We also launched by encouraging all Albertans to get vaccinated because all of the indicators we had was that far too many people were going to say this, too, will pass and I don't need to get vaccinated."

Really? They were asking that the first week of vaccinations would be for high risk people only.

Ed Stelmach Oct 28, 2009:"We're the province that is offering flu vaccines for every Albertan, not just to the high-risk groups."

Okay, so that was Wednesday and maybe the Premier was not aware of the long line ups and other problems, even though he would have been the only one in Alberta to not be aware. I guess he missed it when his Health Minister had to apologize to Albertans for the long lines on the 27th

But here is what he said on Thursday.
Ed Stelmach Oct 29, 2009:"We're not asking only those high-risk groups to get the vaccine first. It's open to all."

Nothing like conflicting messages to make Albertans feel better about how this government deals with their health. These guys could be the next Wayne and Shuster.

You can read more about just how messed up these 2 are here.


For the record I received my H1N1 shot on the 27th, which was day 2 of the program, and before somebody compares me to Hedy Fry looking for my entitlements, I do fit the criteria.


maryT said...

It was not until we got into the clinic that we were told what High Risk was. Imagine our surprise to learn both hubby and I qualifies, along with the g/daughter and her mother who were with us. They have asthma, I have had hip surgery, and hubby has had 2 heart attacks and has diabetes. The only reason we found out is I mentioned we had not brought a g/son, in w/chair, with MD and other problems, that he and his caregivers would have bone to the front of the line, as would we.
He will get his next week, if clinic not cancelled.
One reason for long delays is that many, if not most, are getting both seasonal and H1N1 shots, so you can count every person as 2 in line.
If you have the flu how do they test what kind you have. We have a friend whose boys were ill and out of school. One got quite ill and she took him back to the dr for testing. Was told, we no longer test as the labs are so far behind it would take weeks to get the results. However, the health board says there has been one confirmed case in the area, and they are referring to him. He is well, but he was never tested. How many more cases are like that.

maryT said...

Spelling errors on purpose, to see if anyone is paying attention. LOL

Ardvark said...

I try not to comment much on spelling; those who read my blog will know why.

The entire program is a mess, and Stelmach & Liepert are not helping with their comments.

They BADLY misjudged how many people would want the vaccine asap. I say badly because H1N1 has had a lot of MSM press and a massive gov't paid campaign to encourage as many people as possible to get the shot, but yet they were "surprised". Duh!!!

It has been downhill from there with the only bright spot being the health care workers who are preforming small miracles getting over 10's of 1000's vaccinated.

Sorry, but that reeks of incompetence at more than 1 level.

Btw, Liepert wants to make cuts to those very same health care workers who are saving his ass by working so hard.

Bec said...

I'm not one of the people on the 'let's criticize the government' bandwagon because up until the 13 year old hockey players death, at least 80% of my daughters friends and kids WERE NOT going to get vaccinated. When that occurred, they panicked.
Had these young parents been offered this in the school, their original consent form would have said no.

Let's not forget another detail, this vaccination was estimated to be out, this coming week and so they have managed to vaccinate 300,000 or so people already, 1 week ahead of schedule.

I'm just not sure that we should be overly critical of this initiative based on it's unprecedented nature. I simply think everyone should chill. My 2 cents.

Ardvark said...

Unprecedented would be a good word to describe it.

Anonymous said...

Stelmach = Don Getty
Liepart = Dick Johnson

Fay said...

Every province and in Manitoba, health region is distributing the vaccine differently. But overall anyone over 65 is only offered the regular flux shot. HINI is for children 5 and younger, aboriginals and people with asthma, diabetes etc. My mother is 75 and diabetic, has less than 7% chance of falling ill with HINI. Canadians living on the prairies remember the flux from 1958 and understand they have more immunity because of surviving that year. Why take the HINI from young children who are a higher priority.
I am 53 yrs old and survived cancer 3 years ago and have chosen to wait until those more at risk are vaccinated first.

maryT said...

Fay, in case you thought we deprived someone of a shot, we were forced to get it, like a lot of others have been. We have a g/son in 24/7 care. Agency ordered all caregivers to get both shots, and if clients/patients didn't get them, no caregivers would be allowed in to care for client. Also, if family members didn't get them, they would not be allowed in to visit. So, we got the H1N1. We always get the seasonal shot.
They should have had clinics in all the schools, first, like we used to do.
Fay, I don't think you were objecting to us seniors who have already got in line and been successful.

maryT said...

Imagine the panic and pandemoniam if there had been blogs and tv when Orson Wells had that radio program, that terrified the world.

Fay said...

Canada will have enough vaccine for every Canadian. We will all be successful and since I no longer need chemo, I can wait for another 2 weeks.
There is no need for people outside the priority group to panic.

Bec said...

NO ONE in Alberta was specifically asked, it was an honor system but I certainly knew who was to be done first and have openly criticized the whining seniors, interviewed on local radio and television.
MaryT, you indeed are a high risk candidate and apparently so was I as a caregiver of an infant under 6months. I however, would have waited otherwise.

As far as the schools go, the common thinking was the efficiency of the 'consent' process. It was proposed initially but unfortunately it seems that the parents of today are rather lax at fulfilling their end of things or the kids forget to turn them in.
Every province, has handled this differently and it was their medical experts that decided how the process would occur.
The media, opposition idiots from all levels of government and everyday folks in line-ups are the ones that have ramped up the rhetoric and all I can say to them is, shame on you.

maryT said...

Bec, thanks for that. Finding out what was considered highrisk was telling, heart conditions, diabetes, joint replacement, respiratory problems, and a few others.
Gabby has a comment up at Chuckers, stating that the hockey player probably died of meningitis rather than H1N1. Knowing how quick meningitis can be fatal, and the symptoms not diagnosed or even looked for, I tend to believe it.
How many others will suffer from wrong diagnosis cause it is so easy to say H1N1 as cause of death.

wilson said...

''They BADLY misjudged how many people would want the vaccine asap.''

No they didn't AA.

51% of Canadians said they were refusing the shot.
18% of Canadians (6 million) have had the shot.

That's 69% of Canadians,
one week into the largest vaccination program in Canadian history, covered off.

Then the media, like Don Martin and the Liberals politicized the issue,
and caused panic.

Liberals sucking up their own exhaust even went into panic mode, Hedy wanting to get at the head of the line.
If you are that worried about the swine flu,
stay home.
Just think of all the ghg's that will be saved! (sarc off)

Joe said...

I must admit that I thought that the 13 year old's death seemed very 'convenient'. I wonder if H1N1 actually caused the unfortunate death or were there underlying factors. I am thoroughly disgusted with the nonsense that passes for medical wisdom these days with their panic a day modus operandi.

wilson said...

By the way,
in the US only 4% have been vaccinated, and they have been at it for 3 weeks, not 1.

And, the US first round of vaccine, was LIVE and a medical group went to court to try to shut down the mass vaccinations, do to 'not enough testing' (something to do with inducing infections).

Fay said...

That is right Willson. My daughter is going to university in the States. We have told her there is no way she should take a live vaccine . She can wait until she comes home for American Thanksgiving. My mother who is 75yrs old says when she was a child they were given live virus in the polio vaccine. It worked and saved many lives. But pharmaceuticals can do much better now. The USA is cutting corners and costs with a live virus nasal spray.

maryT said...

All flu clinics in AB have been canceled till further notice, announced on the late news from ctv Calgary.

maryT said...

Let's hope when AB starts up its clinics again they use some intelligence.
For high risk-bring your prescription list, extend the hours, have a large enough bldg so no standing outside for hours.
Set some times, pregnant women 8-12 am for example. Include their children in this time period.
I think this caught everyone by surprise, and the over the top antics of liberals and the media hasn't helped.
Does anyone really think conservatives will vote for liberals because they had to wait for a shot.
And how about lib leader dressing as the PM in a blue sweater to hand out treats.

maryT said...

Were there clinics scheduled for today in Alberta. It is obvious that many people don't turn on the tv, radio, or read a headline, even in passing a newsstand. Just watched local global news and there were clips of people showing up, to get in line at supposedly 3.00a.m. It was sure light out for that time of morning.
But, there should have been crawl messages on every channel mentioning this cancellation, or frequent announcements on radio and tv.
I posted this at 12.04 a.m. and it is the last comment.
But, Cross Country Check UP today did not have many neg comments re the handling of the vaccine. Most thought the govt was doing a good job.
Every death from said flu should have an autopsy, to veryify it was the flu, and not related to other causes.
The media has not helped to calm fears, but have worked overtime to spread fear.
Sorry Travers, this will not bring down PMSH, health is a provincial matter.

Kez Creates said...

the whole thing was a mess in my city (Medicine Hat). I know people who lined up before the clinic opened on Tuesday and did NOT get the shot, but people went in the afternoon and did after waiting an hour. It was a total gong show.

But I blame the Media first and the People equally tied in first place. How the heck a healthy person would willingly stand in line and know that young children, wheelchair bound people, and other high risks were behind them is beyond me. The media in my city posted an article in bold letters, front page, in a yellow box to draw the eye that said ALTA GOVT: 400 COULD DIE FROM H1N1 (or something to that effect). I tell ya, I don't want the shot, but that headline caught my eye and did scare me... until I read the whole article and thought the press is the disease, not H1N1! Ridiculous to scare the living crud out of people and then run around with their cameras hoping to catch some nasty action to show at 6 o'clock.

But again, the lines would not be so long if people stopped to think about others besides themselves. BUT here is another note, my sister in law's doc convinced her to get the shot by telling her that she probably won't get that sick, but she could get it and pass it onto someone else who might DIE. Seriously, that is what he told her that shifted her decision to get the shot (she got it Thurs afternoon). So there are lots of places to look for blame.

What is going to happen if something really deadly serious is ever released in Canada? I wouldn't even bother trying to get the shot cos someone would probably kill me. I will run to a farm and bury myself in a bunker with my family instead of dealing with fellow citizens who think nothing of jumping an H1N1 line ahead of needy people! My boss is on chemo medication and still hasn't been able to get a shot. She cannot stand in line for more than 3 hours usually - so she has missed out so far.

Ardvark said...

I should clarify a bit. The original post refers to the Health Minister saying one thing, that high risk should only get the shot, and the Premier coming along and bragging that everyone can get the shot. The mixed messages add to the already bad situation.

Let the health care professionals do their jobs, and everyone else, including myself and politicians should shut up.