Friends of Medicare has confirmed that Alberta Health Services will be following through with their commitment to support children with Down syndrome in Edmonton and northern Alberta by reversing its decision to cut funding to the Nurse Coordinator position at the Edmonton Down Syndrome Medical Clinic. We are very pleased that AHS was willing to listen to the concerns brought forth by families and were able to address them in a timely manner.
The voices of Albertans are not the voices of critics but rather vested individuals who want to see the expansion and improvement of publicly-funded and publicly-delivered health care services in this province. We are encouraged to know that this position will be funded through AHS as opposed to relying on the goodwill and generosity of individuals and organizations to fund our health care services. "Sustainable and dependable funding is what we need in this specific case and throughout our health care system," states Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. "Children with Down syndrome can have complex health needs and require the type of coordinated medical services that this clinic provides and will now continue to provide," states Azocar.
From 2008 - 2011 the Nurse Coordinator position relied on funding from the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society, and it was not until February of 2011 that AHS recognized that the services provided by the Nurse coordinator are not 'value-added services' but rather essential health services. The elimination of this position would have been another step in a disturbing trend of reductions in essential health services to kids with Down syndrome in Edmonton and Calgary area, as well as to services in smaller centres where they are now virtually non-existent.
Friends of Medicare will continue to call on the Alberta Government and AHS to provide ongoing sustainable and dependable public funds to the Edmonton Down Syndrome Medical Clinic so that children with Down syndrome can continue to receive publicly-delivered and need-appropriate essential health services. We also call on AHS to continue to partner with families and clinical providers in a meaningful manner so as to ensure the best use of resources and services. All children in this province deserve health services.
Friends of Medicare