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Alberta needs to reevaluate our seniors care system

Alberta needs to reevaluate our seniors care system

More action needed to relieve continuing care pressures now & going forward

 
Yesterday, the provincial government announced that new funding would be made available for staffing of health care aides (HCAs) in continuing care facilities. While this funding is a welcome relief in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis currently facing Alberta’s continuing care sector, it is merely a half measure that does not address the root problems that have been plaguing the system for decades.
 
The $24.5 million advanced to operators will help to address immediate cost pressures caused by COVID-19, with funds intended to increase health care aide staffing levels. A wage top-up of an additional $2 per hour for health care aides will be provided, and up to 1000 paid student practicum positions will be added to fast track certification in order to get more staff into continuing care facilities. These measures are temporary and intended to last through the duration of this pandemic.
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Alberta seniors deserve better now and moving forward

Alberta seniors deserve better now & moving forward

Seniors in Continuing Care facilities now count for over half of all COVID-19 deaths in Alberta (29 of 46). As of April 13th, the number of those who tested positive in continuing care facilities was 199 and rising. There is no data yet available as to how many workers who provide care to seniors have tested positive.

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World Health Day holds extra significance today as the world deals with a global health emergency

World Health Day holds extra significance today as the world deals with a global health emergency

According to the World Health Organization, World Health Day emerged from the First Health Assembly, held in 1948. The day is celebrated annually on April 7 to raise global awareness on specific themes related to health in order to highlight an area of importance for the World Health Organization. This year, World Health Day honors the contribution of nurses and midwives, and the critical role they play in our global health care systems.

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Albertans to rally online in support of public health care: #HandsOffOurHealthCare!

Albertans to rally online in support of public health care: #HandsOffOurHealthCare!

 
Today, Friends of Medicare is urging Albertans to take to social media to show our gratitude for our health care workers on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 virus, and for the public health care system on which we all rely. “We want to take this opportunity to thank all Albertans who comprise our public health care system,” 
says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “Albertans will be rallying together to remind our leadership that publicly funded and delivered health care is our best defense against this crisis and others like it, as this pandemic has made abundantly clear.”

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Now more than ever we must fortify & expand our public health care

Now more than ever we must fortify & expand our public health care

 
The past few weeks have certainly been a difficult time for all of us, but as we look around the world and to each other, this pandemic has laid bare the importance of Canada’s universal public health care system. We have seen how vital it is that we do not allow this crisis to be used to dismantle universal, public health care in Canada. However, in Alberta we have seen our government, during one of the worst health crises we have ever faced, bully through a budget that was short-sighted, attacked public services, and set the course for the privatization of our health care.
 
“The true measure of a government's leadership will be made evident through the political choices they make as we deal with this world pandemic, and as we move forward to deal with the new political and economic reality that will face us after this is done,” says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.
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Albertans' blood and plasma is not for sale

Albertans' blood and plasma is not for sale

 
While health care workers and communities are struggling to support each other through the COVID-19 crisis, private blood brokers are trying to profit off of this dire situation. The Alberta government lobbyist registry shows that a big pharma interest group that represents the private for-profit blood industry (Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association represented by Santis Health Inc), is attempting to persuade the government to repeal the Voluntary Blood Donation Act, which bans for-payment blood clinics in the province. 
 
The Voluntary Blood Donation Act, passed in 2017, ensures that all blood and plasma collected in Alberta is used for patients in the province and across Canada. If repealed, it would ensure that tens of thousands of units of much needed blood plasma are shipped out of the province to global markets, putting the entire Canadian supply chain at risk. Ontario, Quebec and BC also have similar laws in place. 
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Friends of Medicare endorses Health Coalitions’ Joint Statement on COVID-19 and Public Health Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the extent to which our individual health is dependent on the health of everyone in our community. Public healthcare is our best defense against this crisis and others like it. However, our ability to endure crises and care for each other has been eroded through decades of austerity budgets, privatization and inadequate planning. Even during “normal times,” the health care system is at capacity.

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Senior's primary care is more essential than ever during COVID-19

Senior's primary care is more essential than ever during COVID-19

 
If the current COVID-19 pandemic can teach us anything, it is the importance of a strong public health care and a strong primary care system. Whether it be a foreseeable shift in demographic health needs, like in the case of Alberta’s steadily aging population, or an unexpected outbreak of a virus, like COVID-19, our health system needs to be able to provide quality, timely care to everyone who needs it. What we don't need, now more than ever, is the closure of our much needed health resources, or the layoffs of our vital health care workers.
 
Approximately two weeks ago, Sage Seniors Association in central Edmonton gave notice to the 500 seniors who are patients at Sage Health Services, that they would be ceasing all operations as of March 31st, 2020. For the past two years, this program has provided onsite community collaborative care for seniors, without fees. Sage is centrally-located, nearby to where a large number of seniors reside, while seniors with mobility issues were able to be picked up at their homes and taken to their appointments via bus. It provided seniors access to nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, mental health therapists, pharmacists and health navigators. These workers will be laid off at the end of the month.
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Responsible budgetary decisions needed amidst health & economic crisis

March 16, 2020 11:59 AM

Responsible budgetary decisions needed amidst health & economic crisis

As the Alberta Legislature resumes its business today, and the government sets out to push through it’s 2020 budget, Friends of Medicare have a message for Premier Kenney and Health Minister Shandro: don’t mess with our health care!

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More vulnerable Albertans left behind by SCS review

March 05, 2020 1:45 PM

More vulnerable Albertans left behind by SCS review

Albertans have once again been presented with the findings of a government-appointed review committee, and as in the case of previous reports, it reflects a predetermined outcome consistent with the ideological bent of this government. Unsurprisingly, today’s presentation of the findings of the supervised consumption services (SCS) review committee provided exactly the ideological justification that this government needs to move forward on their dangerous plan to limit or eradicate harm reduction services in this province.
 
“This panel was only tasked with looking at one side of the story, the socioeconomic impact, and not on the human benefit of having this health care service available to the individuals who need it,” said Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.
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