August 11, 2021
Friends of Medicare stands in solidarity with nurses for patient safety
Friends of Medicare stands in solidarity today with the United Nurses of Alberta, as they stand up for patient care with information pickets at hospitals and health facilities across the province.
Albertans have seen firsthand how invaluable nurses and all their health care colleagues have been to our province throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet health care workers have seen continued disrespect from the provincial government, culminating in recent attempts to slash their wages.
“These front-line workers have literally put their own lives at risk to save the lives of countless Albertans,” says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “After a year and a half of this pandemic, health care workers are exhausted, and now they’re handed a pay cut? The government is making it extremely clear how little they value not only our vital health care workers, but all the Albertans who depend on the care those workers provide.”
Albertans have unfortunately seen the harm caused by these kinds of health care cuts before. We are already witnessing the impact of worsening understaffing throughout our health care system, including closures of beds in hospitals on a near daily basis. The government's continued disrespect of the province’s health care workers can only worsen this staffing crisis, ultimately jeopardizing patient care and safety.
“Regardless of what this government tries to claim, we’re still in a pandemic. Now is when we should be strengthening our public health care system, and doing everything we can to support health care workers to provide the best possible care to patients,” says Azocar. “We should count ourselves lucky that we still have nurses who are willing to put it all on the line for their communities, yet this government seems intent on undermining our public health care system and the invaluable workers who keep it going.”
Azocar will be standing in solidarity with nurses rallying outside of the Grey Nuns Community Hospital in Edmonton at 11:30 AM. Protesters from the #TestTraceIsolateAB rallies are being encouraged to instead join the nurses' info pickets today. Edmonton’s daily noon protests will resume Thursday outside of MLA Kaycee Madu’s constituency office (5160 Windermere Boulevard), and at the Legislature on all following days.
“Albertans have always stood up for our valued health care, and we have no doubt that they will continue to do so,” continues Azocar. “The 12 straight days and counting of protests against the government’s decision to end Alberta’s COVID-19 public health measures continues to stand as a powerful testament to that.”
Friends of Medicare stands with Alberta nurses, and we encourage all Albertans to show their support for our public health care by attending the information picket in their community. Working conditions are care conditions! We must take a stand against this government's continual attacks on our valued public health care system, for the sake of workers and patients alike.
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