The Alberta Government has fired the only ER Doctor in the Government out of its caucus. Raj Sherman the Progressive Conservative MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark, had criticized Premier Ed Stelmach and his handling of ER backlogs. Over the weekend he toned back his criticism and directed at the bureaucracy, namely the famous "I'm eating my cookie" CEO. On Sunday criticized former Health Minister Ron Liepert calling him "rude and offensive" during his dealings with front line medical staff.
"For me, it's really a matter of principle. I guess the principles of being a doctor and advocating for patients collided with the principles of politics," Sherman said.
"I don't see a reason why they would have needed to collide. I think politicians and doctors, voters and patients are one and the same. But for me it's a bit of a sad day."
Raj Sherman is an ER doctor, who still does shifts at the hospital on weekends. To him this is very personal and he has worked as the Assistant Health Minister for two Ministers.
It seems to be common sense that an ER doctor would be listened to when it comes to the condition of Alberta's Emergency Rooms. This is the second Minister that has been kicked out of caucus. The MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood, Guy Boutilier, was kicked out of caucus for criticizing the government for not delivering on a Long Term Care Facility.
The issue of ERs is personal to Raj Sherman. He has had to take his seriously ill father to hospital emergency five times in recent months and one of those times, his father . nearly died in a waiting room.
His family urged him to get out of politics, and he nearly resigned over the ER issue. He pledged to continue his push for improved ER conditions. The Stelmach government may have fired him, but they can't silence him.
The discontent with the Progressive Conservative Government is growing, and Albertans are looking forward to the next election when they can deliver a pink slip to the Stelmach Government.