Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Lavish Executive Expenses

Friends of Medicare denounces the inappropriate and excessive expenses claimed by Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Allaudin Merali during his employment with with Alberta Health Services and the now dissolved Capital Health Region. It has come to light through a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) request that Merali claimed nearly $350,000 in expenses from 2005-2008, including costs for travel and hosting.

“Considering he was reporting directly to Dr. Chris Eagle, President and Chief Executive Officer of AHS and the he had a documented history of high consulting and travel costs during the eHealth Ontario scandal, I’m curious why he was chosen to act as the individual responsible for the entire financial and reporting structure of Alberta’s health board” said Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “AHS needs to be forthcoming immediately about the true extent and nature of these costs”.
The fact that these exorbitant expenses weren’t a deterrent to hiring him coupled with another presumably expensive severance package paid for by Alberta’s tax dollars continues to display the Conservative Government’s misallocation of funding and confused priorities.
“The people of Alberta want their tax dollars spent on front line workers and world class health delivery, not lavish dinners and executive travel” said Azocar. “With the recently announced closure of the Little Bow Continuing Care Facility in Carmangay Alberta we see the real priorities of AHS, it’s executives are taking priority over Alberta’s patients.”
The fact that Alberta Health Services wasn’t already complying with accountability and transparency protocols in use by offices like that of the Auditor General continue to display this Government’s failure to provide Albertan’s with the information they deserve.
“As taxpayers we demand the best bang for our buck, and we won’t get that until the Government invests in the front lines and expands public delivery in a accountable and transparent manner” said Azocar.