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Government disregard for health care officials leaves Albertans at risk

November 26, 2020
EDMONTON

Government disregard for health care officials leaves Albertans at risk

Today’s story in the CBC reveals that the government has opted to follow political ideology rather than best medical advice when shaping Alberta’s COVID-19 response. According to secret audio recordings of several planning meetings of the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) leaked to the CBC, the expert advice of Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has been repeatedly undermined by the UCP government.

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Today’s new COVID-19 restrictions continue to fail Albertans

November 24, 2020
EDMONTON

Today’s new COVID-19 restrictions continue to fail Albertans

As per today’s government mandated restrictions and declaration of a state of public health emergency, Alberta has become a place where family members are not allowed to visit one another, but individuals and households can continue to go to casinos, bars or restaurants. Alberta has become the last province to enact a mask mandate, but it only pertains to indoor workplaces, and only in Edmonton, Calgary and surrounding areas.

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With passing of Bill 204, UCP ideology reigns over science & evidence

November 16, 2020
EDMONTON

With passing of Bill 204, UCP ideology reigns over science & evidence

Today, in Alberta’s Legislature, we witnessed ideology win out over the well-being of all Albertans and Canadians. Following the Third Reading this afternoon, the legislative assembly passed Bill 204: Voluntary Blood Donations Repeal Act. In the midst of an unprecedented and worsening public health crisis, Alberta is now on track to allow the corporate collection and global export of Albertans’ plasma. 

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Bill 204 threatens & undermines our voluntary public blood system

November 3, 2020
EDMONTON

Bill 204 threatens & undermines our voluntary public blood system

Back in March, Friends of Medicare warned Albertans that while our province was grappling with the beginnings of an unprecedented pandemic, private blood brokers were trying to find a way to profit from this dire situation. The Alberta government lobbyist registry showed that a big pharma interest group representing the private for-profit blood industry (Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association represented by Santis Health Inc), was attempting to persuade the government to repeal the Voluntary Blood Donation Act, which bans for-payment blood clinics in the province.

As expected, MLA Tany Yao soon introduced Bill 204: Voluntary Blood Donations Repeal Act, which is now expected for third reading on Monday, November 9. While Mr Yao has insisted that his Bill 204 will help address our domestic plasma supply needs, his mere three page bill contains no stipulations to guarantee that privately collected plasma will remain in Alberta or even Canada. In fact, private blood brokers make their profit on the international market, where they compete to sell their plasma to the highest bidder. In contrast, every single collection within our publicly funded blood system is guaranteed to be used to treat Canadian patients. 
 
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Friends of Medicare stands today in support of Albertans with disabilities

October 27, 2020
EDMONTON

Friends of Medicare stands today in support of Albertans with disabilities

 
Friends of Medicare will be standing today in support of Albertans with disabilities, who are currently supported and cared for under publicly-run Direct Operations at homes and respite centres in Edmonton and Calgary.
 
Approximately 200 guardians of disabled Albertans were given notice on June 10th that the UCP government was “exploring alternative service delivery”—code for privatization—of Edmonton’s Rosecrest home for children, the Hardisty and Balwin respite centers, Edmonton group homes, and Calgary’s Scenic Bow home.
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Friends of Medicare stands in solidarity with AUPE & striking health care workers

October 26, 2020
EDMONTON

Friends of Medicare stands in solidarity with AUPE & striking health care workers

 
Front-line hospital workers represented by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees have walked off the job at locations across Alberta today, to defend their jobs and the public health care system that keeps Albertans safe and healthy.
 
This is a decision that no health care worker takes lightly. These workers know better than anyone the importance of a strong and well-resourced public health care system, and they know what is at stake of being lost if the government continues to pursue their incessant cuts. Health care workers are striking today because they need to be sure that they are equipped to provide the best possible care for patients, and they know this government stands in the way of that.
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Drug coverage changes kick Albertans while they're down

EDMONTON
October 21, 2020

Drug coverage changes kick Albertans while they're down

AHS has proposed a new program that would shift the cost of certain medications, including those used to treat cancer and Crohn’s, onto patients, as revealed in a CBC report today. This change exemplifies this government’s cruel, shameful and short-sighted approach to saving money on the backs of sick Albertans.

The Standardizing Access to Medications for Ambulatory Patients (STAMP) program aims to reduce AHS spending by an estimated $2.3 million dollars by requiring that patients pay for the cost of their medications, as well as the costs of having them administered, such as in the case of infusions.

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Legislature Fall Session marks the Fall of Fighting Back for our Public Health Care

Legislature Fall Session marks the Fall of Fighting Back for our Public Health Care

As MLAs return to work today, Albertans can expect to continue to see steps in pursuit of this government’s ongoing agenda to privatize our public health care.

Since the release of the UCP’s 2019 election platform, this government has remained steadfast in that goal. The release of the McKinnon report back in September 2019, followed by the AHS Performance Review in February, provided the ideological fodder, as both made recommendations for sweeping changes to our health care system through major privatization. The government has been quick to act on those recommendations, introducing legislative changes that have provided the legal framework for the privatization of our medical laboratories, in-hospital support services, and surgeries, among others, as well as the announcement that upwards of 11,000 people will be laid off from AHS. This past weekend at the UCP AGM, we saw members narrowly pass a policy which directs the party to pursue a ‘privately funded and privately managed health-care system’ in Alberta.

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Gov't can't be trusted with our public health care system

October 13, 2020 1:56 PM

Kenney & his government cannot be trusted with our public health care system

Today’s release of the AHS Performance Review Proposed Implementation Plan is, in short, the biggest betrayal of Albertans by any government.

“Once again, this Premier and his government are callously advancing plans to suit their aggressive privatization agenda in health care,” says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “Kenney’s UCP government continues to demonstrate nothing but disdain for the women and men working on health care’s front lines. Considering how central they have proven themselves in the province’s pandemic response, this whole plan is an insult to health care workers, and it’s a betrayal of the patients who depend on them.”

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Seniors Deserve Better this International Day of Older Persons

October 01, 2020 9:58 AM

Seniors Deserve Better this International Day of Older Persons

This October 1st marks the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons. This year, as we contend with the ongoing upheaval caused by the COVID-19 global health crisis, we must also bear witness to the suffering caused by the long-standing failures of our seniors’ care system.

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