Friends of Medicare joined seniors to occupy Health Minister Fred Horne's office today to protest cuts to Alberta's seniors drug plan. The action was led by Public Interest Alberta's Seniors' Task Force, of which Friends of Medicare is a member.
The occupation began at 10 AM this morning and continues to the present. The seniors' organizations are demanding a meeting with Premier Redford to discuss the program cut and have pledged not to leave Horne's office until a meeting date is confirmed.
"Like other areas of health care, there is no room for means-testing as a barrier to preventing people getting the drugs they need," says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. "Asking chronically ill people to pay a given percentage of their incomes towards their required medicines is the same as taxing them for their poor health."
The Premier's Office issued a statement this afternoon refusing the meeting request. Seniors know that Alison Redford was elected on a promise not to change the seniors drug program and therefore won't be leaving Horne's office and are prepared to stay the night. The office doors are locking at 4 PM.
Read Public Interest Alberta's initial press release from this morning here.