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

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

 
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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UCP Tracker: What they've done so far

What have the UCP been up to since forming government in April 2019? Since forming government, the UCP has relentlessly reminded Albertans they they will deliver on their platform, in which privatization of our public health is clearly underlined. This continues to be of great concern for those of us who believe that health care should be available to all, based on need and not ability to pay. 

Bookmark this page to stay up to date on critical changes and legislation affecting our public health care system.


 

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Despite government spin, true intent of health care cuts is clear

In a media article published December 4th, Steve Buick, press secretary for the Minister of Health, could not have been more clear when he explained what is happening to front-line workers:

“Almost three-quarters of all the potential impacts to health care jobs over the next three years is potential use of alternate providers – change of employer, not reduction in jobs overall.”

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Lethbridge AGM 2019

Friends of Medicare's Lethbridge chapter held their 2019 AGM on November 13, where we said goodbye to our long-standing president, Michael Cormican and treasurer, Bob Campbell, and elected a whole new board!
 

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The UCP quietly continue ASLI

On July 9th, 2019, without media releases or formal statements, Health Minister Shandro announced on Twitter that the Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) will continue under the UCP government. His announcement was made with a photo op at the Silverado Seniors Village, owned by Park Place Seniors Living. This project was one of the 25 ASLI projects that under the previous government were given the green light to proceed after private operators involved in the program agreed to change their designs at the NDP’s caveat that they needed to include higher levels of care including dementia and long-term care units.

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Bill 203 quashed at committee level

Following Friends of Medicare's presentation to the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members' Public Bills on Bill 203: An Act to Protect Public Health Care, the committee — comprised of 4 NDP and 7 UCP MLAs — voted to keep the bill out of full debate in the legislature. The bill would have protected our public health care system by prohibiting two-tier medicine, extra billing and any other form of private payment in relation to insured services, and would have banned queue jumping via cash payments. 

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The New Calgary Chapter

On March 12, Calgary regained a Chapter of Friends of Medicare.

Welcome to the new Chapter Executive!


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Let's Call it What it is: Cutting Though Kenney's Privatization Double-Speak

February 27, 2019 10:46 AM

Let's Call it What it is: Cutting Though Kenney's Privatization Double-Speak


Last week Jason Kenney’s health care announcement guaranteed "public funding" of our public health care, but stayed away from guaranteeing public delivery or an expansion of our current public system. He reiterated that he would not let “ideology” stand in their way of looking into alternate "options," including the use of private providers. There was no clarity as to what that would look like. Ideology only seems to come into play when you don’t agree with it. It is naïve to believe that political parties do not have an ideology guiding their policies.

For Friends of Medicare, it is very simple: what guides our work for a stronger public health care is the firm belief on the values that served to create our medicare system -- the values of equity and egalitarianism. If we can’t be equal when we are sick then where are we equal? These words need to mean more than political talking-points. We made a pledge over 50 years ago that no Canadian would ever die or go bankrupt because they can’t afford health care.

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National Seniors Care Strategy

November 05, 2018 2:00 PM

After working all their lives, seniors deserve to live with dignity. Without a pan-Canadian strategy to ensure a consistent continuum of care, many seniors are falling through the cracks.

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