Inquiry hears Calgary queue-jump scheme was set up to reward university donors

A Calgary doctor has testified he was told directly that a private clinic accused of queue-jumping patients was set up to reward deep-pocket donors for the University of Calgary.

CALGARY — A Calgary doctor has testified he was told directly that a private clinic accused of queue-jumping patients was set up to reward deep-pocket donors for the University of Calgary.

Dr. Jonathan Love testified to Alberta’s queue-jumping inquiry that Dr. Doug Caine of the Helios Wellness Centre told him that when Love visited the clinic.

He says Caine told him the clinic was — quote — “a reward for the philanthropic community of the University of Calgary.”

Love says he went to the Helios centre because he couldn’t understand why one of Caine’s Helios patients had been fast-tracked for care in the public system.

Three clerks have testified that from 2009 to 2011, Helios patients were treated in weeks or months at the publicly funded Forzani Colon screening centre.

At that time, ordinary Albertans at the Forzani were waiting three years or more just to be seen.