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Bill 204 Fact Check


Friends of Medicare and other Albertans concerned about the impact Bill 204 will have on our public blood system have been contacting Tany Yao and their MLAs to urge them not to allow this dangerous bill to pass. In response they have been receiving the following standard template letter from both MLA Yao and other UCP MLAs, containing factual errors and misinformation. Friends of Medicare has fact checked this letter to set the record straight: Bill 204 won't help Albertan patients. 

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Alberta seniors deserve better from our governments

Alberta seniors deserve better from our governments

by Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare and Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta


The continuing care system in Alberta and across the country is in crisis and seniors are suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally. After decades of increasing privatization, declining staff-to-patient ratios, and a chronically underpaid and stretched-thin workforce, the COVID-19 pandemic swept away any pretense of a functional care system and has thrown the myriad issues and dangers facing seniors into sharp relief.

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TBT: Privatization is STILL not the answer

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Keep our Blood System Public!

On July 14, 2020, Friends of Medicare hosted an online discussion about the importance of keeping our blood collection system voluntary and public with Kat Lanteigne and Dr. Michèle Brill-Edwards.

View the webinar recording and ways to help keep our blood system public below!

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Seniors care in crisis: COVID-19 & beyond - Learn More

In this webinar, recorded May 7, 2020, Friends of Medicare hosted an online discussion about the state of seniors' care in Alberta and across Canada with panelists Pat Armstrong, Andrew Longhurst, and Carol Wodak. In this online conversation, panelists focused on reevaluating Alberta's continuing care strategy in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and reimagining solutions for moving forward towards more equitable care for seniors.

See the video recording, and additional resources from our panelists below.

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Together, we can help to rebuild and reimagine a better way

A message from our Executive Director: 

Together, we can help to rebuild and reimagine a better way

The past few weeks have certainly been a difficult time for all of us, but as we look around the world and to each other, we can see that this pandemic has shone a light on the importance of Canada’s universal public health care system. It has served to strengthen our resolve to continue to fight to protect and expand our public health care. This pandemic has made it clear that the true measure of a government's leadership will be made evident through the political choices they make as we deal with this health crisis, and as we move forward to deal with the new political and economic reality that will face us after it is done.

In Alberta, we have seen our government, during one of the worst health crises we have ever faced, make the decision to bully through a budget that was short-sighted, attacked public services, and set the stage for further privatization of our health care.

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Is Alberta ready for COVID-19?

Alberta is bracing for the impact of COVID-19. Is our health care system ready for the challenge?

By Alyssa Pretty, Communications Officer at Friends of Medicare. March 18, 2020.


For decades, Canada has benefited from a single-payer medicare system, which is there for us based on need, not ability to pay. While there is certainly room for improvement – the inclusion of dental, optometry, and pharmacare to the medicare umbrella, for a start – people across the country can rest easy knowing that they can rely on our health care system to care for them when they need it, without worrying about how they are going to pay. However, in the face of a global pandemic, the quality and preparedness of our health care system becomes even more crucial. Globally, we are staring down an outbreak of yet unclear proportions. As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on China, Italy, and Iran, we here in Alberta are bracing for impact. Is our health care system ready for the challenge?

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The human cost of health care cuts: An Alberta nurse speaks out on the closure of the iOAT program

Following the recent report released by the supervised consumption services review committee, the fate of Alberta's SCS and other harm reduction services is more uncertain than ever. The next day, Albertans learned that funding for injectable opioid agonist therapy (iOAT) would not be continued, and that the 63 patients in the program would be given one year to transfer to alternate treatment. Given that clients are only referred to the iOAT program when other treatments fail, the impacts of this funding cut will likely be devastating for the people who depend on it, and their families.

The following was reposted with permission from an Alberta nurse:


When I try to put my feelings about the UCP into words, I get completely choked. It's a lot to unpack. The level of suffering that we've seen, and will continue to see, because of this government's policies is not only unconstitutional, it's beyond inhumane.

I have worked for the iOAT program for the last year, and it's been cut. With the UCP's purposeful, ignorant opposition to clinically proven harm reduction measures to combat the opioid crisis, I'm not surprised at this outcome.

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2020 will be the year for fight back to protect our public health

December 16, 2019 11:59 AM

Seasons Greetings from our Executive Director:

As the holiday season is upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and the events and changes that impacted us in 2019. This was a big year for FOM as we celebrated 40 years of advocacy. We celebrated all those who came before us; those who, from the inception of FOM, have organized, mobilized and helped to create a force to be reckoned with. We have garnered national recognition, and have over and over stood up to the forces of privatization that seem to return over and over again.

For the past four decades we have had many victories and many setbacks, yet through it all, it has been our conviction and understanding of the importance of public health care that has kept us going, and has strengthened our advocacy. Public health is a re-enforcement of the values that Canadians hold firmly: those of justice and equality.

Currently, Alberta is in a crisis of values. We have a government that has a deep hatred for the social state and public services; a government that celebrates individualism and the move away from the collectivism which embodies the caring and compassion necessary to advance our society. We have already seen the beginning of what seems to be an endless quest to privatize our health care.

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Holiday Solidarity from SOS

December 16, 2019 11:57 AM
 
We are Support Our Students Alberta, also known as SOS Alberta. We are a grassroots public education advocacy organization, and we’d like to send you some holiday wishes for a more equitable, accessible and universal public education in Alberta.

 
It is incredibly important to us, as a public education advocacy organization to look ahead, to see the writing on the wall, and understand that this government is consistently, and actively trying to limit our access to all public services, to widen inequality and weaken our democracy.

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