May 13, 2022
Albertans Rallying Together for Public Health Care
Friends of Medicare to participate in events in five cities calling on the provincial government to put people before profit
‘Better Way Alberta’ rallies, being held on May 14 in Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Medicine Hat, and Lethbridge, are a joint effort of Friends of Medicare, the Alberta Federation of Labour, the United Nurses of Alberta, and others in protest of this government’s ongoing attacks on Alberta’s public health care.
Since the beginning of 2022, the UCP government has accelerated their efforts to privatize vital parts of our public health care, including community labs, surgeries, ophthalmology, and queuing up a new panel clearly designed to propose further privatization of EMS. Not to mention the privatization of laundry services, attacks on doctors and health care workers, ongoing layoffs and concerning new plans being developed for seniors’ care; truly the list goes on and on.
Friends of Medicare is joining Albertans in coming together to say there is a better way, and that they are tired of their provincial government using the COVID-19 pandemic and associated impacts on the health care system as cover for an ideologically driven agenda of funding cuts and privatization. It is clear that the government is intentionally “breaking” our health care to justify their real agenda: further privatization.
“Our public health care isn’t broken, it’s being intentionally dismantled by an ideological government intent on privatizing every sliver they can,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director at Friends of Medicare. “Health care decisions should be made prioritizing people, not profits. It should be about providing the care Albertans need, not using our public health care dollars to facilitate privatization and profit for corporations."
“Here in Medicine Hat there have been increasing ambulatory red alerts due to staff shortages, a purely political changeover of our local labs to Dynalife, and folks are becoming increasingly concerned about finding a family doctor and accessing the health care they need. Community members are coming together to say no more cuts and privatization, yes to strengthening public health care in the Palliser region!” - Diane MacNaughton, Friends of Medicare Palliser Chapter Chair
“At every turn, this government is failing seniors; whether it is failing to protect them from the COVID-19 pandemic, abolishing the Seniors Advocate Office, cutting 46,000 off the Alberta Blue Cross for Seniors Benefit Plan, or increasing continuing care fees, to name just a few. Alberta Seniors Deserve Better from this government. They deserve dignity, respect and strong public health care!” - Judy Lederer, Friends of Medicare Secretary, speaker at the Edmonton rally
“The provincial government went to war with doctors, driving them from our province and our city. Now over 40,000 people in Lethbridge are without access to a family doctor. This, on top of other provincial cuts, is compromising access to health care in our region. I’m proud to be joining with folks in Lethbridge and southern Alberta to stand up for the public health care we deserve.” - Bev Muendel-Atherstone, Friends of Medicare Lethbridge Chapter Chair
Details for rallies in each city can be found on United Nurses of Alberta's website, here.