News

  • Bill 207 puts personal beliefs of health care providers ahead of professional obligations to patients

    November 16, 2019
    EDMONTON

    Bill 207 puts personal beliefs of health care providers ahead of professional obligations to patients

     
    Bill 207: Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act was introduced by Peace River MLA Dan Williams on November 7. After passing first reading, Bill 207 was referred to the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members Public Bills. On November 18th, this committee — comprised of 4 NDP and 7 UCP MLAs —will meet to determine if this bill has the merits to proceed for fulsome debate in the legislature.
     
    This bill is a veiled attack on access to legal health care services such as abortion, gender affirming care, and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). If passed, Bill 207 will create major delays and barriers to people accessing medically necessary services in a province where access is already very difficult.
     
  • Bill 207 is a political attack on Albertans' access to legal health care services

    November 7, 2019
    EDMONTON

    Bill 207 is a political attack on Albertans' access to legal health care services

     
    Peace River MLA
    Dan Williams' introduction of private member’s Bill 207: Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act, is a disingenuous political attack on access to legal health care services such as abortion and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). By using the narrative of ‘conscience rights’ the UCP government and MLA Williams do not mean the freedom of conscience afforded under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This narrative simply points directly to the right of a provider of public services to provide those services selectively. 

  • The future of Laboratory Services in Northern Alberta still uncertain under Budget 2019

    The future of Laboratory Services in Northern Alberta still uncertain under Budget 2019

    Budget 2019 released yesterday referred only briefly to the issue of laboratory services, indicating that we will see the removal of the Edmonton Clinical Laboratory Hub project, which was set to cost $579 Million. “Budget 2019 makes no mention or addresses any moneys being allocated to a future facility or to renew much needed equipment,” indicates Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare.
     
  • Alberta Budget 2019

    Restrained spending in budget 2019 is the wrong prescription for Alberta

    Although budget 2019 sees a slight increase in spending in health care (1%), it does not meet inflation and population growth (3.5%). "When a government is not able to provide health care to meet the needs of a growing population, it is a cut," says Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare. "As one goes down line by line through the budget, what we're seeing is a decrease in most areas of the health care budget."

  • LPNs will see their role expanded in 2020, but no clear commitment to increased supports

    LPNs will see their role expanded in 2020, but no clear commitment to increased supports

    On Thursday afternoon, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced that he is widening the scope of practice for licenced practical nurses (LPNs). This expansion will come into effect on February 1st, 2020, and will impact over 16,000 LPNs across Alberta.

  • Friends of Medicare stands with the 53 workers from Vegreville Century Park as they fight to save their jobs.

    “Alberta open for business” resonates loudly in Alberta’s broken seniors’ care system 

     
    At noon on October 7th, Friends of Medicare will be standing side by side with the 53 workers from Vegreville Century Park, as they fight to save their jobs. 
     
  • Government-appointed “Blue Ribbon Panel” sets the stage for 4 years of unwarranted austerity budgets

    Although health care took a back seat to “jobs, pipelines, economy” during the recent election, it was expected and reasonable to assume that health care should now become a much spoken about subject area.
     
    The UCP appointed Janice MacKinnon to chair the Blue Ribbon Panel, and to look into our province’s expenditures. The panel was given a very narrow mandate to examine expenses but not revenues, which will come later on in the UCP mandate. Instead, the panel was tasked with recommending a path to a balanced budget by the year 2022-23, without raising taxes.
     
    “With the release of the much awaited ‘Blue Ribbon Panel report,’ we heard what we can expect from this government, and it confirmed that Albertans will be faced with 4 years of unwarranted austerity budgets and imposed legislative changes,” indicates Sandra Azocar, executive director Friends of Medicare.
  • FOM welcomes Lethbridge City Council’s common-sense vote on continued provincial funding for SCS

    FOM welcomes Lethbridge City Council’s common-sense vote on continued provincial funding for SCS

     
    On Monday, August 19, Lethbridge city council voted on a motion to request the provincial government halt funding to the city’s supervised consumption site, subject to the findings of the government’s forthcoming “socioeconomic” review. The motion, introduced by Councillor Blaine Hyggen, was defeated Monday evening by a vote of 6-3.  

    “Supervised consumption services are an integral part of a harm reduction strategy — they connect vulnerable Albertans to essential services that will ultimately give them a path to healthier lives,” said Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “We’re glad to see that Lethbridge city council had the common sense to vote down a motion that would have shown a callous disregard for the lives of vulnerable Albertans.”

  • FOM joins Foothills front-line workers

    FOM stands in solidarity with Foothills front-line workers

    On July 3rd, Friends of Medicare will be joining AUPE front line workers, health care advocates, labour leaders, and community members as they come together in support of the invaluable Albertans who provide health care services and public services to all of us, day in and day out. 
  • Advisory Council on Pharmacare recommends a single-payer, universal, public pharmacare system

     
    Today was a historical day for public health care. The Advisory Council for the Implementation of National Pharmacare released its final report, recommending a universal, single-payer pharmacare program. Following a year-long consultation process with Canadians and stakeholder groups, the Advisory Council has taken the first major step towards finally achieving a national prescription drug plan for all.
     
    “Canadians have spoken and have said clearly that we don’t want to wait another 53 years to implement a national pharmacare plan,” says Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “After decades of advocacy and report after report calling for a national pharmacare program, Friends of Medicare is pleased to finally be seeing progress on this important issue that has impacted the lives and well-being of Canadians for so long.”