News

As Liberals meet before Parliament returns, broad coalition of unions and progressive groups says pharmacare extremely urgent

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OTTAWA – As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet gather in Hamilton for a three-day retreat, a broad coalition of unions and progressive groups says that implementing a comprehensive pharmacare program must be a top priority for the Liberal government. The cost-of-living crisis has significantly increased cost-related obstacles to Canadians’ access to prescription drugs, while high drug prices are draining billions of dollars from hospitals’ budgets.

  • As Liberals meet before Parliament returns, broad coalition of unions and progressive groups says pharmacare extremely urgent

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    OTTAWA – As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet gather in Hamilton for a three-day retreat, a broad coalition of unions and progressive groups says that implementing a comprehensive pharmacare program must be a top priority for the Liberal government. The cost-of-living crisis has significantly increased cost-related obstacles to Canadians’ access to prescription drugs, while high drug prices are draining billions of dollars from hospitals’ budgets.

  • Shift to Private Surgeries will only Worsen Health Care Staffing Challenges

    Expanding the use of for-profit surgical centres in Calgary is making health care short staffing worse while failing to solve the surgical backlog


    EDMONTON - This morning, Minister of Health Jason Copping announced an expanded use of private, for-profit surgical centres in Calgary. Friends of Medicare and others have already spoken out at length about the problems with the government’s Alberta Surgical Initiative and their unfounded claims that privatization will improve surgical wait times.  

  • An update from our Executive Director

    This week marks a full year since I began my role as the Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. The year has truly flown by! I am honoured to be doing this work alongside all of you.

    I want to take a moment to reflect on the year that’s been, and where we are headed in 2023. Below are some of the highlights from key areas we’ve been focused on at Friends of Medicare.

  • Privatization Won’t Solve Alberta’s EMS Crisis

    This morning Health Minister Jason Copping provided an update of their government’s plans for Emergency Medical Services (EMS), including privatization of inter-facility transfers.


    EDMONTON — A year ago, Friends of Medicare warned that the government’s appointment of an EMS advisory panel was laying the groundwork for privatization within our EMS system. Today we were proven right. Rather than spending the last year working to improve EMS and fill the thousands of vacant shifts, the government spent that time lining things up for further privatization through contracting out.

  • Health Coalitions warn health funding without strings is not in the public interest

    Federal health dollars must come with accountability and national standards


    Ottawa, December 16, 2022 - As Canada’s premiers and the federal NDP ramp up the pressure on the Trudeau government, Health Coalitions across Canada are demanding that any increase in public health funding be used in the public interest and not be used to privatize health care.

  • Government must prioritize saving lives over politics in AB’s drug poisoning crisis

    EDMONTON — Today’s announcement of a new Edmonton Public Safety and Community Response Task Force doubles down on the government’s failing approach, with no new funding or meaningful community involvement. The task force is made up of hand-picked folks who support the government’s agenda, while excluding impacted Albertans and front-line community voices for harm reduction. 

  • Don’t give Alberta a blank cheque to privatize health care

    EDMONTON — Canada’s Premiers held a joint press conference today demanding more money from the federal government with no performance measures, targets or strings attached.

    Thousands of kids are sick in this province and across Canada, putting unprecedented strain on our hospitals. Yet rather than responding to calls for action from the AMA Pediatrics section, health care workers, advocates, and families here in Alberta, Premier Smith instead joined other Premiers from across the country to ask for more money from the federal government.

  • Today's Lab Privatization Continues to be Bad Deal for Albertans

    EDMONTON -- Today, the majority of Alberta’s community medical laboratory services are being transitioned from being publicly delivered by Alberta Precision Laboratories, to being delivered by DynaLIFE, a for-profit company. This follows the delayed attempt to transition services this past July. Friends of Medicare has been outspoken about the significant issues involved in contracting out our lab services, and other integral parts of our public health care system, every step of the way

  • Info-Picket to be held in front of Canadian Blood Services

    EDMONTON — Friends of Medicare and concerned Albertans will be holding an information picket outside of Canadian Blood Services (CBS) in Edmonton at noon today, December 1. This action coincides with events being held outside of CBS locations in Ottawa, ON, Dartmouth, NS and elsewhere.

  • Throne Speech Continues Agenda of Privatization over Albertans’ Health Care Needs

    EDMONTON This afternoon, Danielle Smith tabled her first Speech from the Throne as Premier. It promises disappointingly little in terms of protecting and improving Alberta’s public health care, continues to push an agenda of privatization, and provides no indication as to how the government plans to repair the damage they have wreaked on Alberta’s public health care system.