Alberta cancer clinic admits private clinic allowed to jump queue for tests
The Helios clinic, located in the University of Calgary's Teaching Research & Wellness Building, is alleged to have arranged preferential treatment for its patients
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, February 20, 2013 1:15PM EST
CALGARY -- The head of Calgary's publicly funded Colon Cancer Screening Centre says patients from one private clinic were allowed to systematically jump the queue.
Darlene Pontifex says in 2009 and 2010, patient referrals from the Helios Wellness Centre were kept in a special file and booked much faster than others.
Pontifex told Alberta's queue-jumping inquiry that during that time period the centre's database was in disarray and Helios patients were booked because their patient information was handy.
Clerks and doctors have testified that from 2008 to 2012 Helios patients were treated within weeks, while ordinary patients had to wait three years.
Some staff have testified they warned Pontifex for years that queue-jumping was going on and involved clinic doctor Ron Bridges.
Pontifex denied being made aware of it, but conceded she doesn't always read her e-mails.