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?Read more
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.Read more