By Don Norman
Information is still trickling in regarding the rather bizarre closure of the Pine Falls Hospital earlier this week.
We spoke to Paul Manaigre, Media Relations, D-Division RCMP. There was some discrepancies between what other media was reporting and what the IERHA was saying. Initially, Media Relations reported that the case was closed. Manaigre cleared up what happened.
Firstly, he clarified that the alleged threat was off site and second hand. “The gentleman wasn’t at the hospital. He said something to someone who passed it on to the Health Authority,” said Manaigre. The Powerview RCMP then spoke to the suspect who had allegedly made the threat and they denied it. Manaigre also said that there is a connection to drugs, but wouldn’t be more specific.
On Friday, Manaigre had been telling media that the case was closed. He explained that because of doctor-patient confidentiality, the doctor who was allegedly threatened refused to make a statement. “At that point, we had nothing left to investigate,” said Manaigre. However, he said that he has since learned that Powerview is going to attempt to speak the doctor and are still investigating the incident. But he did say that unless the doctor tells them something they have no case.
I’m going to make some guesses and assumptions now. Reading between the lines, I think it happened this way… Someone came to see a doctor at the clinic and told them that they had heard a third party had threatened the doctor. The doctor told his or her boss and the IERHA shut down the facility and called police. The police talked to the person who allegedly made the threats. They denied it. The doctor refused to make a statement because they wanted to protect the patient who informed them about the threat. The police had no more recourse after that.
But in the minds of the IERHA, the threat hadn’t been neutralized. Sure the suspect denied it when the police contacted him. But of course, he would do that and it that didn’t mean the threat wasn’t out there. So, they shut down the facility because they felt they had to do “something” to contain the threat.
Knowing what I know now, I think I understand better why they did what they did, but they still did a very poor job of handling it.