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Alberta Must Do More to Prepare for Extreme Heat Events

July 4, 2022
EDMONTON

Alberta Must Do More to Prepare for Extreme Heat Events

In the summer of 2021, Alberta experienced a record-breaking heat dome, claiming an estimated 66 lives. That heat emergency finally passed one year ago today.


Hundreds of people in western Canada died from extreme heat during 2021’s heat dome. Seniors and unhoused communities were some of the most vulnerable and impacted. 619 people died in British Columbia, mostly seniors. In Alberta, there were an estimated 66 deaths, but no comprehensive data or analysis has been released.

One year later, Friends of Medicare has sent an open letter to Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping, calling on the Alberta government to take action to prepare for future extreme heat events.

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Reflecting on 60 years of Medicare: Putting People Before Profit

June 30, 2022
EDMONTON

Reflecting on 60 years of Medicare: Putting People Before Profit

This July 1 marks 60 years since Saskatchewan implemented universal Medicare for all, and 56 years since coverage was expanded to all of Canada.


On July 1, 1962, Saskatchewan became the first province in Canada to implement public Medicare for all, building the framework to ultimately expand across the country.

But this victory didn’t happen simply because politicians like Tommy Douglas or Woodrow Lloyd passed legislation; Medicare was a decades-long fight won by working people, the labour movement, community health care co-operatives, farmer organizations, and so on. It was a movement of regular people from all corners of the country, built from the ground up.

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Government scheme to move surgeries to private clinics in BC absurd, costly and undermines patient care

June 29, 2022
EDMONTON

Government scheme to move surgeries to private clinics in BC absurd, costly and undermines patient care

Earlier today, the NDP Opposition released FOIP documents showing that the UCP government is working on a plan to send Alberta patients and surgeons to private surgical centres in British Columbia. 

“This plan is not rooted in evidence and not supported by clinical leaders in our province,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “It has nothing to do with shortening waitlists and nothing to do with expanding surgical capacity here in Alberta. This is a purely ideological plan to further expand the role of private health care in Canada, while using our public health care dollars to facilitate private profits for a surgical centre in BC.”

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Alberta Seniors Need Protection from Elder Abuse

June 15, 2022
EDMONTON

Alberta Seniors Need Protection from Elder Abuse

Public Interest Alberta and Friends of Medicare are recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by calling again on the UCP Government to bring back a Seniors Advocate.

“The UCP government continues to sputter in chaos, as elder abuse remains a real crisis facing Alberta seniors. They deserve better than empty rhetoric from this government,” said Bradley Lafortune, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “The UCP government needs to recognize Elder Abuse Awareness Day by taking action starting with creating an independent seniors advocate.”

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Government Should Recognize Seniors’ Week by Bringing Back Seniors Advocate

June 6, 2022
EDMONTON

Government Should Recognize Seniors’ Week by Bringing Back Seniors Advocate 

 
Today, Public Interest Alberta and Friends of Medicare are recognizing Alberta Seniors’ Week by calling on the UCP Government to
bring back a Seniors’ Advocate.


“Alberta seniors deserve better than empty rhetoric from this government,” said Bradley Lafortune, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Seniors in this province are calling for real action on health care, affordable prescriptions, and income security.”

“That’s why we are calling on this government to bring back an independent seniors advocate as a first step to supporting seniors to live in dignity,” said Chris Gallaway, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “Instead, this government has ignored the calls of seniors across Alberta and continued their reckless agenda of cuts and privatization.”

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Home care privatization about private profit, not better care

June 3, 2022
EDMONTON

Home care privatization about private profit, not better care

Yesterday afternoon, the Alberta government announced they will be further privatizing home care services, releasing a request for expressions of interest and qualifications (RFEOIQ), set to close in July of this year. This plan will see Albertans with complex health and care needs being sent into the community, without providing details as to whether additional supports will be made available. 

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Privatization of lab services continues to be a bad deal for Albertans

June 2, 2022
EDMONTON

Privatization of lab services continues to be a bad deal for Albertans

Today the Alberta government reiterated their plans to privatize Alberta’s medical laboratory services, announcing that they have finalized their agreement with DynaLIFE to begin providing community lab services as of December 2022.

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Kenney’s response to decriminalization in BC offensive, tone-deaf and deadly

June 1, 2022
EDMONTON

Kenney’s response to decriminalization in BC offensive, tone-deaf and deadly

Government must stop ignoring drug poisoning crisis and support an evidence-based public health approach

Yesterday, the government of Canada approved the British Columbia government’s request to decriminalize small-scale personal possession of illicit drugs, starting next year. This policy change is one part of a wider public health and harm reduction approach to the ongoing drug poisoning crisis. In response, Premier Kenney put out a late evening, highly politically charged statement attacking the decision.

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Western Premiers’ call for more health funding must be targeted towards stronger public health care

May 27, 2022 1:28 PM

May 27, 2022
EDMONTON

Western Premiers’ call for more health funding must be targeted towards stronger public health care

Statement in response to today's Western Premiers’ Conference in Regina:

Today, the western Premiers met in Regina to further their demand for a 13% increase to federal health transfers. Friends of Medicare continues to call for strings to be attached to any new federal health funding.

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All Albertans Deserve Paid Sick Days

May 25, 2022 10:35 AM

May 25, 2022
EDMONTON

All Albertans Deserve Paid Sick Days

Friends of Medicare will be speaking at the Rally for Paid Sick Days for All Albertans today at the Legislature at 4:30 p.m.

Friends of Medicare stands with Health Sciences Association of Alberta members, health care workers and others who will be rallying today to demand paid sick days for all Albertans. Paid sick days allow workers to take the necessary time off to rest and recover from illness without fear of lost wages or job repercussions. At the same time, they keep other workers and their families safer and healthier, saving lives while minimizing the impact on our strained public health care system.

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