• Nurses deserve support and respect during Nursing Week, and year-round

    May 12, 2022

    Nurses deserve support and respect during Nurses Week, and year-round

    Friends of Medicare's statement on National Nursing Week 2022:

    This week is National Nursing Week, with May 12 marking International Nurses Day. Friends of Medicare would like to take this opportunity to recognize the instrumental role that nurses play throughout every aspect of our health care system—a role that has been amplified and become all the more vital as we battle the disastrous consequences of a worldwide pandemic.

  • Short-sighted cuts to insulin pump program will cost Albertans more for the care they need

    Yesterday, the provincial government announced changes to its insulin pump benefits program, impacting up to 4,000 Albertans with diabetes. Instead, people will have to seek coverage via private workplace insurance plans, or government benefit plans, potentially leaving many Albertans subject to costly co-pays and premiums.

    Alberta’s complex patchwork of private and public drug and supplementary health benefit plans has left far too many of us struggling to pay for the medications and treatments we need. An estimated 420 working-aged Canadians with diabetes die each year because they don't have adequate access to their medications.

  • Ending Discriminatory Blood Ban Good News for Canada’s Public Blood Supply

    April 28, 2022

    Ending Discriminatory Blood Ban Good News for Canada’s Public Blood Supply

    This morning, Health Canada approved Canadian Blood Services’ request to end the 3-month deferral period for men who have sex with men, effectively lifting the ban on their ability to donate blood and plasma.

  • The Day of Mourning: Statement from Friends of Medicare

    April 27, 2022

    The Day of Mourning: Statement from Friends of Medicare

    Every year, on April 28, we recognize the National Day of Mourning. It is a day to commemorate workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness while at work. It serves as an annual reminder that we have a collective, societal responsibility to keep each other safe in the workplace. This is especially true as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to compromise worker safety.
  • Ophthalmology privatization puts private profits over public good 

    April 22, 2022

    Ophthalmology privatization puts private profits over public good 

    The government’s attempts to use the pandemic as political cover to sell off our vital public health care going into high gear.

    Today, Health Minister Copping announced that the government would be moving forward with plans to further privatize Alberta’s surgical services, specifically our ophthalmology. 

    The persistent myth around private health care is that it serves more patients quicker, but the reality is far different. Patients are often upsold and over-referred in place of those who are truly in need. Statistics from prior to the pandemic consistently showed wait times were months longer in Calgary Zone, where over 80 percent of all non-urgent cataract surgeries are done in the private sector, than those performed in the Edmonton area, where the majority are completed in the public sector.

  • Federal Budget Expansion of Dental Coverage Good News for Alberta Children

    More work still needed on universal pharmacare, long-term care standards, paid sick leave, the drug poisoning crisis, and protecting public health care in Alberta

    This afternoon the federal government tabled their budget for 2022-2023. It included items laid out in the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the NDP, most notably: adding dental care coverage for children 12 and under this year.

    “Dental care is health care. Yet far too many Albertans have long been forced to forego necessary dental procedures due to cost-related barriers to access, and entrenched economic inequality,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “The dental care commitment in today’s federal budget is good news for Alberta children, and we’re hopeful this will be the first step towards truly universal public dental care for all.”

  • Instability in our health care leadership is the last thing Albertans need

    April 4, 2022

    Instability in our health care leadership is the last thing Albertans need

    Friends of Medicare deeply concerned that Dr. Yiu’s removal precedes the acceleration of the government’s privatization agenda

    This morning, Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced the removal of Dr. Verna Yiu from her role as president and CEO. CTV News has since confirmed she was fired. There was a year left in Dr. Yiu’s contract, and the board did not offer any reason for her removal. 

  • Continuing Care Act falls short

    Bill 11: Continuing Care Act does nothing to improve the quality of continuing care in Alberta

    The Continuing Care Act, tabled yesterday by the UCP government, is woefully lacking in any meaningful changes to improve Alberta’s continuing care system. The Bill follows the government’s Facility-Based Continuing Care Review, and consolidates 15 pieces of current legislation that oversee our continuing care system.

  • Government continues attacks on AB health care workers

    March 28, 2022

    Government continues attacks on AB health care workers 

    Front-line Workers Deserve our Respect and Solidarity, not Wage Freezes and Rollbacks

    Over the weekend, Albertans learned that AUPE General Support Services members received an insulting package of bargaining proposals, including four years of 0% wage increases, as well as a variety of rollbacks to their collective agreement.

    Just weeks after the government boasted about balancing the budget at the expense of our public services, they are forging ahead with their short-sighted austerity agenda by undermining front-line staff in an already overstretched health care system. 

  • Friends of Medicare Reaction to the Federal Confidence and Supply Agreement

    Today’s agreement between the Liberals and NDP includes concrete action on universal Pharmacare and dental care in Canada