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Government setting the stage for the closure and possible relocation of existing supervised consumption Services

Government setting the stage for the closure and possible relocation of existing supervised consumption services

As reported in the media todayPremier Jason Kenney is already setting the stage for what could be the closure or relocation of Supervised Consumption Services (SCS) in Alberta. While the Supervised Consumption Services Review Committee was tasked with reporting to the government by the end of 2019, their report has yet to be publicly released.
 
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Surgical wait time initiative announcements leave Albertans with more questions than answers

Surgical wait time initiative announcements leave Albertans with more questions than answers

 
In a press conference this morning, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced the government’s plan to reduce surgical wait times in Alberta. The minister confirmed that the planning for the surgical initiative was informed by the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative (which
ultimately failed to solve wait-time issues in Saskatchewan) but was unable to clarify the lessons that this government is taking from its failure.
 
Despite the effort with which Minister Shandro tried to mask the true underlying ideology of the initiative – namely privatization – the true intent was clear. What’s worse is that today’s announcement came with no monetary figures, no timelines, and no details. “Just as we’ve seen with previous conservative governments, the minister is once again asking Albertans to accept major changes to their health care system on faith alone, without revealing any of the details as to how this will affect costs or the quality of care to patients,” says Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare.
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Black Friday announcements signal dark days ahead for public health care

Black Friday announcements signal dark days ahead for public health care

 
Announcements made on Black Friday of the loss of well over 5,100 front-line health care jobs highlights the deep disdain for public services that our current government holds.
 
“These announcements were a clear move away from the collectivism that drives our social programs, a move away from the caring and compassion that is necessary to advance our society. It was a reiteration of a commitment to an endless quest to privatize our needed public services,” states Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare.
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Cuts to front-line staff is not the solution to balancing the budget and it is not what Albertans voted for

Cuts to front-line staff is not the solution to balancing the budget and it is not what Albertans voted for

 
On Friday morning, Albertans learned that 500 front-line Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses will lose their jobs over the next three years. The United Nurses of Alberta estimate this loss of staff will equate to more than a million fewer hours of care for patients.
 
“In an already overstretched system, this attempt to save money by eliminating front-line staff can only be seen as nonsensical,” stated Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare.
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Bill 207 puts personal beliefs of health care providers ahead of professional obligations to patients

Bill 207 puts personal beliefs of health care providers ahead of professional obligations to patients

 
Bill 207: Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act was introduced by Peace River MLA Dan Williams on November 7. After passing first reading, Bill 207 was referred to the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members Public Bills. On November 18th, this committee — comprised of 4 NDP and 7 UCP MLAs —will meet to determine if this bill has the merits to proceed for fulsome debate in the legislature.
 
This bill is a veiled attack on access to legal health care services such as abortion, gender affirming care, and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). If passed, Bill 207 will create major delays and barriers to people accessing medically necessary services in a province where access is already very difficult.
 
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Bill 207 is a political attack on Albertans' access to legal health care services

Bill 207 is a political attack on Albertans' access to legal health care services

 
Peace River MLA
Dan Williams' introduction of private member’s Bill 207: Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act, is a disingenuous political attack on access to legal health care services such as abortion and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). By using the narrative of ‘conscience rights’ the UCP government and MLA Williams do not mean the freedom of conscience afforded under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This narrative simply points directly to the right of a provider of public services to provide those services selectively. 

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The future of Laboratory Services in Northern Alberta still uncertain under Budget 2019

The future of Laboratory Services in Northern Alberta still uncertain under Budget 2019

Budget 2019 released yesterday referred only briefly to the issue of laboratory services, indicating that we will see the removal of the Edmonton Clinical Laboratory Hub project, which was set to cost $579 Million. “Budget 2019 makes no mention or addresses any moneys being allocated to a future facility or to renew much needed equipment,” indicates Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare.
 
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Alberta Budget 2019

Restrained spending in budget 2019 is the wrong prescription for Alberta

Although budget 2019 sees a slight increase in spending in health care (1%), it does not meet inflation and population growth (3.5%). "When a government is not able to provide health care to meet the needs of a growing population, it is a cut," says Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare. "As one goes down line by line through the budget, what we're seeing is a decrease in most areas of the health care budget."

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LPNs will see their role expanded in 2020, but no clear commitment to increased supports

October 17, 2019 2:42 PM

LPNs will see their role expanded in 2020, but no clear commitment to increased supports

On Thursday afternoon, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced that he is widening the scope of practice for licenced practical nurses (LPNs). This expansion will come into effect on February 1st, 2020, and will impact over 16,000 LPNs across Alberta.

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Friends of Medicare stands with the 53 workers from Vegreville Century Park as they fight to save their jobs.

October 07, 2019 12:00 PM

“Alberta open for business” resonates loudly in Alberta’s broken seniors’ care system 

 
At noon on October 7th, Friends of Medicare will be standing side by side with the 53 workers from Vegreville Century Park, as they fight to save their jobs. 
 
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