Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann is demanding the Justice Minister take responsibility for Calgary’s broken Medical Examiner Office and act swiftly to address systemic issues:
Swann is calling for concrete action to deal with the staff revolving door at the Calgary ME Office and repeated reports of lengthy turnaround times for death investigations and the impacts on morale that result.
Swann stated, “Eleven months waiting for drug toxicology and final reporting is unacceptable.
“The Minister has not met her 2017 commitment to reduce turnaround times by 50% and now 4 out of 5 pathologists have left or are leaving the Calgary office. This seriously compromises death investigations including homicides and overdoses.
“Despite extra training, forensic pathologists working in the Justice department are receiving substantially less pay and benefits than their AHS counterparts and will continue to leave for better working conditions elsewhere in North America. Additionally, they receive no pay incentive to address massive backlogs with such departures.
“Dealing with these issues is a necessary first step to addressing high-turnaround times and high turnover rates.”