Addictions Care is Health Care

Addictions Care is Health Care

CALGARY — This morning in Calgary, Friends of Medicare stood alongside Mike Parker, President of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA), in calling on the provincial government to release up-to-date data and broaden its approach to addiction care beyond their one-size-fits-all model. 

"The Premier and the Minister continue to tout the success of their so-called Alberta Recovery Model, yet still refuse calls to release any data or information that would validate their claims,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “All while we continue to see record deaths due to drug poisonings, and increased pressures on our health care system due to this ongoing crisis.”

HSAA represents addictions counsellors, mental health therapists, social workers, psychologists, paramedics, and other health professionals working on the frontlines of Alberta’s mental health and addiction crisis, and are calling on the provincial government to change course on their ideological approach. 

“We’ve heard loud and clear from health care workers that this drug poisoning crisis is impacting their work and putting strain on our entire health care system. These workers deserve to be listened to and consulted by the government,” said Gallaway. “We are in an urgent public health crisis. Albertans need to see an equally urgent response that prioritizes saving lives and protecting our public health care.”

Friends of Medicare remains concerned that the government’s recent announcement of a new entity for mental health and addictions will continue to siphon our public health care dollars towards under-regulated, for-profit providers, and proliferate this government’s aggressive privatization agenda in our health care. 

“Addictions care is health care, full stop. Albertans need to know that their mental health and addictions services are being delivered as part of our public health care system, not contracted out to the lowest bidder,” says Gallaway. “Every single one of Alberta’s drug poisoning deaths represents a policy failure. It’s time Alberta changes course. We must ensure that these health care services are being publicly delivered, with the full transparency and accountability that Albertans and their families deserve.”


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