News

  • Provincial Health Coalitions Put Federal Parties on Notice

    August 19, 2021  For Immediate Release

    Provincial Health Coalitions Put Federal Parties on Notice: Canadians Demand Real Action to Fix Long-Term Care

    (Canada-wide) - With a federal election called for September 20, provincial Health Coalitions across Canada are putting all federal political parties on notice. The federal government could have already set real national standards for long-term care in legislation or an emergency federal-provincial-territorial funding accord with sufficient funding attached to leverage real change. Instead, nothing has happened. Canadians expect all political parties to commit to bring in national standards for long-term care as a matter of national priority.

  • Government continues to disrespect Alberta’s front-line workers

    August 16, 2021
    EDMONTON

    Government continues to disrespect Alberta’s front-line workers

    Late last week, Albertans learned that Alberta Health Services is contemplating plans to address nursing shortages by hiring contract nurses. AHS has been in ongoing negotiations with United Nurses of Alberta, and has proposed a 3% pay cut for the nurses it employs, which the UCP government has claimed is necessary in order to get Alberta’s finances “back on track.” Now we see that they are considering offers from Greenstaff Medical Canada to contract nurses for $55-$75 an hour compared to $36.86-$48.37 per hour earned by AHS nurses currently.

  • The power of the people can never be underestimated—Even under this reckless government

    August 13, 2021
    EDMONTON

    The power of the people can never be underestimated—Even under this reckless government

    After 15 straight days of protesting the government’s reckless decision to remove Alberta’s most basic and necessary COVID-19 protections, the government has finally taken notice, and moved to “pause” the removal of these protections for 6 weeks, until September 27.

    “Today the voices of Albertans proved louder than the irresponsibility of our government. Albertans have shown that we’re able to protect each other when the government won’t,” stated Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “Faced with a government that has given up on providing leadership and making difficult decisions, Albertans have demonstrated that we truly are in this together when it comes time to protect each other, our children and the most vulnerable.”

  • The old boy’s club is alive and well in Alberta’s health care

    August 12, 2021
    EDMONTON

    The old boy’s club is alive and well in Alberta’s health care

    Alberta Health Services has managed to largely avoid the scrutiny of Albertans after many years of instability and costly reorganizations. But now, this government has made clear that they are willing to compromise that, via the appointment of privatization ideologues to the AHS board.
  • FOM stands solidarity with nurses for patient safety

    EDMONTON
    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
  • Enough is Enough

    EDMONTON
    August 3, 2021

    Enough is Enough! Friends of Medicare protests removal of Alberta's public health measures 

    For the past 4 days, Albertans have been coming together to say Enough is Enough! Ongoing protests have been held each day in Calgary and Edmonton against this government’s reckless decision to end the most basic public health measures we have to deal with COVID-19 and the variants facing the province, Canada, and the world.
     
    The Alberta government has announced that by August 16 they will
     
    • End nearly all public health measures, including masking;
    • Close all testing centres;
    • Require those with serious symptoms to get tested at a doctor's office or the Emergency Unit at a hospital;
    • Largely do away with tracing contacts of people infected with COVID-19;
    • Remove isolation requirements for people who test positive; 
    • Stop asking people with mild symptoms to get tested; and,
    • Stop issuing medical data on COVID-19.
     
  • Friends of Medicare stands with Capital Care and Carewest workers

    EDMONTON
    July 29, 2021

    Friends of Medicare stands with Capital Care and Carewest workers


    Friends of Medicare stands with health care workers from Capital Care and Carewest protesting the expected sale of Alberta’s public Long-Term Care facilities. We join members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Local 049 today at their noon-hour rally in opposition to the Alberta government’s continued privatization of Alberta’s continuing care.
     
  • Continuing care announcement is the “no-money miracle’ approach

    July 9, 2021
    EDMONTON

    Continuing care announcement is the “no-money miracle’ approach

    Today, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced the allocation of $400 million in operational funding over four years, for 6,000 continuing care beds across the province. Of these, 2,200 will be new beds, and the remaining 3,800 will be refurbished or renovated from existing “underutilized” spaces in private facilities.
     
    “This announcement was more of the same old, repackaged with a no-money miracle as a selling point,” says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “It’s just more proof that this government lacks any type of innovative and new approaches when it comes to providing care to the people who need it.”
  • Government applauds nurses, cuts their wages in the same breath

    July 7, 2021
    EDMONTON

    Government applauds nurses, cuts their wages in the same breath

    Yesterday, Finance Minister Travis Toews announced that the government would be moving forward with plans to cut salaries of Alberta’s nurses. The newly proposed 3% salary rollback comes in addition to previously announced rollbacks, in the form of reduced shift and weekend premiums. All together, Alberta’s nurses are facing at least 5% compensation reduction.
  • Albertans for Ethical Drug Policy demand end to Alberta’s war on harm reduction

    Albertans for Ethical Drug Policy demand end to Alberta’s war on harm reduction

    June 26, 2021

    CALGARY - June 26 is the Global Day of Action Against Oppressive Drug Policy, Support, Don’t Punish. Today, Albertans are coming together at for the YYC Day of Action, to commemorate and remember the lives that have been lost as a result of this ongoing opioid pandemic, and to call on this government to stop the unjust assault on harm reduction services.
     
    Albertans for Ethical Drug Policy, business owners and community members are marking this occasion with the release of a joint statement, to renew our calls to stop the unjust assault on harm reduction services. Harm reduction, including supervised consumption services (SCS) not only save lives, but they also help to keep people healthy, connect them with services, and ultimately saves money for the health system.