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Immediate Mental Health Commitment Needed Despite Downturn

Immediate Mental Health Commitment Needed Despite Downturn

Friends of Medicare are calling on the Alberta government to prioritize greater investment in mental health in light of the released "Valuing Mental Health" report.

 

"The increased funding for mental health in Budget 2015 was a welcome first step towards improved mental health services, yesterdays report indicates greater investment is needed," said communications staff Trevor Zimmerman.

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Fertility Clinic Privatization a Broken NDP Promise to Albertans

Fertility Clinic Privatization a  Broken NDP Promise to Albertans

News in today's Edmonton Journal about the opening of a privately run fertility clinic in Edmonton this year is a broken promise on private health care from Alberta's NDP Government.

 

"While delivery decisions may be made by AHS, ultimately, policy directives to privatize services rests with the Ministry of Health. We believe that the Minister should put an end to this experiment," said Friends of Medicare Executive Director Sandra Azocar. 
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Shift Continuing Care to Public Sector

From the December 8 Edmonton Journal:

http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-shift-continuing-care-to-public-sector

Written by Executive Director Sandra Azocar and Public Interest Alberta's Seniors Task Force Chair Noel Somerville

Government should redirect public funding from for-profit continuing care facilities, say Noel Somerville and Sandra Azocar

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Kaminski Resignation Brings Hope for Change in AHS

Today's announcement of the resignation of Alberta Health Services President and CEO Vickie Kaminski is a welcome step says Friends of Medicare.
 
"We have a new government but AHS had not changed," said Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.  "Until this new government deals effectively with the governance structure of our health care system we will not be able to focus on the real work of improving our health care to ensure that Albertans receive timely, quality, publicly funded and delivered health care."
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Victorian Order of Nurses Closure Another Example of Failure in Private Care

After announcing today that they will be ceasing operations in Alberta, home care provider Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) have demonstrated yet again why experiments in private care must be ceased.
 
"This is now twice since 2013 AHS has lost a contract for home care services," said Friends of Medicare Executive Director Sandra Azocar. "Home care should not be subject to the pressures of a competitive market. It's clear that instead of a race to the top for quality care, we have a race to the bottom to slash costs which squeezes out not-for-profit groups like VON."
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New Ministers Advocacy On Pharmacare Welcomed

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Pictured above - June 9 tweet from then Liberal MP Candidate Dr. Jane Philpott.
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HEALTH ANNOUNCEMENT RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT LONG TERM CARE IN ALBERTA

EDMONTON
Today's announcement from Alberta's Ministry of Health to support the building of twenty-five new supportive living projects raises questions about the course of continuing care in Alberta.
"Albertans voted for an expansion of public seniors health care, and that's what we're hoping to hear more of," said Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. 
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HEALTH SYSTEM SUPPORTED IN NEW BUDGET

Alberta Health's expenses are budgeted at $19.7 billion for 2015-2016, which is an increase of $800 million from the budget initially issued in March 2015. This includes a promised funding increase of $10 million for needed mental health services.
 
Friends of Medicare is pleased to see these increases in the new 2015-2016 budget.
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COURT OF APPEAL DECISION IN ALLEN V. ALBERTA WELCOMED

September 11, 2015 5:17 PM
On September 9, 2015, Justices Peter Martin, Jack Watson, and Frans Slatter unanimously rejected the appeal put forward by lawyer John Carpay on behalf of Darcy Allen that prohibition on private health insurance in Alberta infringes on Mr. Allen's Charter rights. The rejection of this appeal affirms the decision from Justice P. R. Jeffrey of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench on April 2, 2014.
 
"The rejection of Mr. Allen's appeal is not a rejection of access to health care, but rather recognition that allowing private insurance to determine Albertans' access to healthcare is not a solution to the problems in our public healthcare system," stated Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.
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FRIENDS OF MEDICARE DELIGHTED BY GOVERNMENT ACTION ON LAB SERVICES

August 13, 2015 5:15 PM
This afternoon, Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman announced a ministerial directive to cancel the request for proposal process for the privatization of laboratory services in Edmonton and northern Alberta. She is also undertaking a review of service delivery models, which we hope will include public consultations.
 
"We are pleased to see this government is willing to learn from our previous government's mistakes, and is open to seeking public solutions to a public service," stated Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.
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