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My Body My Choice?

My Body My Choice?

Abortion Pills, Hormone Replacement Therapy, and Fertility Services

This article was included in our 2017 year end newsletter sent to Friends of Medicare members. We intend to publish our newsletter every year so make sure you sign up today so you can get your copy for 2018!

The Alberta Government announced on July 24 that they would be providing access to Mifegymiso, a medical abortion pill, at no cost to all Albertans.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman was quoted on the decision saying "Women's reproductive options should not be determined by their income or where they live."

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It's Time to Expand Medicare

It's Time to Expand Medicare

Will Canadians See Pharmacare Started by 2020?

by Trevor Zimmerman - pictured below speaking on pharmacare in Medicine Hat. Photo credit Jason Soklofske.

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This article was included in our 2017 year end newsletter sent to Friends of Medicare members. We intend to publish our newsletter every year so make sure you sign up today so you can get your copy for 2018!

2020 is "the year we begin to see national pharmacare being implemented," said Liberal MP John Oliver to a recent iPoliticsLive luncheon panel.

This is welcome news, but we still don't have a commitment from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or any members of the federal Liberal cabinet. The campaign for pharmacare is far from over.

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The Problem With Private Clinics

The Problem With Private Clinics

Health Ministers Must Enforce Canada Health Act

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This article was included in our 2017 year end newsletter sent to Friends of Medicare members. We intend to publish our newsletter every year so make sure you sign up today so you can get your copy for 2018!

The case against private clinics got even stronger in 2017. Two reports were released - Blurred Lines: Private Membership and Public Health Care by the Parkland Institute and Private Clinics & the Threat to Public Medicare in Canada by the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) that showed problems with excessive fees and implied queue jumping for the wealthy in Alberta and across the country.

 

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Health Advocacy at Work

Health Advocacy at Work

We wanted to share this letter from Whitemud Citizens for Public Health to Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, Randy Boissonnault

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(Pictured left to right: Frank Horvath, Randy Boissonnault, Elaine Fleming, and Baldwin Reichwein)

Whitemud Citizens for Public Health (WCPH) is doing great work as advocates for a better public health system. This is a great example of bringing issues in front of Members of Parliament.

Friends of Medicare is happy to help others interested in meeting with their MPs as well.

Members of WCPH met with Edmonton Centre MP Randy Boissonnault about the federal responsibility for funding pharmacare, medicare and the continuation and expansion of the Canada Health Act. Their full follow-up letter can be found below.

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Improving Medicare and Finding Savings in Budget 2018

Improving Medicare and Finding Savings in Budget 2018

Public sector solutions needed to improve the system and expand access

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Friends of Medicare were able to attend a Government of Alberta consultation session leading into Budget 2018.

Medicare as we know it still needs expansion. While we are proud of the economic barriers we've removed for things like hospital care and physician visits, many areas of service remain under costly private sector delivery with growing out of pocket costs for patients.

The time is now to build on the legacy of Tommy Douglas and improve the system while removing barriers to access.

The highlights of our submission are below, and you can download the full submission here.

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Progress and Challenges in 2017

Moving Forward and Pushing Ahead

Progress and Challenges in 2017

By Sandra Azocar, Executive Director fominfo@telus.net

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A preview of our 2017 year end newsletter being mailed to Friends of Medicare members.

Be sure to renew your membership for 2018 today!

We began 2017 with uncertainty for public health care advocates. Justin Trudeau’s divide and conquer strategy on health accord negotiations were taking shape. Unaddressed problems in private seniors care were highlighted with the Christmas lockout of the care and support staff at the for profit supportive living centre run by Points West Living in Cold Lake. Questions remained over what direction public health care would be going with changes in governments in Ottawa and Edmonton.

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Job Posting - Communications & Administration Officer

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Job Posting

Communications and Administrative Officer 

Friends of Medicare is hiring a Communications and Administrative Officer for its Edmonton office. This position is 40 hours per week. There is a six-month probationary period. The anticipated start date is January 22, 2018. This posting closes on December 8, 2017.

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Fall Update from Friends of Medicare

Fall Update for Friends of Medicare

Hi everyone. If we haven’t met yet, I’m Barret Weber. I’ve been on the board of Friends of Medicare since 2015, and recently became Vice-Chair of the board.

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A lot can happen in two years at Friends of Medicare and I'm happy to serve. Today, I want to provide an update on our recent activity now that everyone is back from summer fun.

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The Cold Lake Lockout is Over

August 03, 2017 6:05 PM

The Cold Lake Lockout is Over

What’s Changed in Continuing Care?

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On June 22 the lockout of staff at the private-for-profit supportive living centre operated by Points West Living in Cold Lake ended. The residents were relieved to see the dispute end and welcomed the staff back.

The settlement is seen by the workers not as a victory, but as a conclusion. Many issues remain. While the staff were seeking measures in the contract to hold the provider accountable for short staffing, they instead will only have a committee to discuss these issues. Some training will be provided to the staff now that they are back to work, but they did not get sufficient training guaranteed in the contract. Short staffing and lack of training continues to be an issue in many private facilities across the province. 

Since the dispute began the facility was found to be non-compliant with AHS standards on multiple occasions. We have been told AHS has been closely monitoring the facility and we hope to see Points West Living meet those standards.

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Our Public Blood System Still Isn’t Protected

August 01, 2017 6:53 PM

Our Public Blood System Still Isn’t Protected

How far will Canadian Plasma Resources expand operations?

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Presenting petitions calling for the ban of blood & plasma in Alberta to Minister Hoffman on the steps of the Legislature with Kat Lanteigne of BloodWatch.org and Marle Roberts with CUPE Alberta.

On March 23 the Alberta NDP government passed the Voluntary Blood Donations Act on third reading, recognizing the role of Canadian Blood Services (CBS) as our sole not-for-profit collector and provider of blood and plasma. The bill introduced by Health Minister Sarah Hoffman banned the sale of blood and plasma in Alberta, allowing CBS to focus on its ambitious plans to more than double voluntary plasma collection. This will reduce Canada’s reliance on the American paid plasma market, where vulnerable populations are taken advantage of to help line the profit margins of a billion dollar industry.

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