When negotiations are concluded, Alberta Health Services will go from contracting out 40% of retail food services in Calgary and Edmonton to 100%.
Albertans Will be Watching for Public Health Care Solutions at UCP Leadership Candidates' Debate Tonight
The first official UCP leadership debate is this evening in Medicine Hat, topics include Leadership and Unity, Health care, and the Economy and the Environment.
Under Jason Kenney, the UCP government’s record has been one of anti-evidence and ideological decision-making, with short-sighted decisions that fail to consider the downstream health costs or impacts on the health care system. They have consistently prioritized an agenda of privatization ahead of improving patient care, whether it’s surgeries, community labs, EMS, ophthalmology, seniors care, home care, or schemes to send surgeons and their patients out of province.
This morning, the Government of Alberta reversed course on previously announced changes to the Insulin Pump Therapy Program following backlash from Albertans.
In May, the lives of 4,000 Albertans with diabetes and their families were thrown into chaos and uncertainty when the government announced sudden changes to the Insulin Pump Therapy Program. Albertans responded quickly, sending more than twenty thousand letters to their representatives, speaking out against these changes and the destructive impact they would have on their households and communities. Shortly after, the government announced a pause to those changes, and today reversed course completely.
The vast majority of Canadians now have access to a fourth dose/booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine, but not here in Alberta.
Canada is now in the seventh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wastewater numbers are up, case numbers are up, and fatalities continue, making it clear that the highly contagious BA.5 sub-variant is spreading quickly through Alberta. In response, other provinces have been announcing expanded vaccination programs, but the Alberta government has yet to announce any changes or expanded access. Nor have they reinstated any public health measures to help protect Albertans or our health care system from this ongoing pandemic.
Friends of Medicare's statement on today’s decision from the British Columbia Court of Appeal
This morning, the British Columbia Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed Dr. Brian Day’s appeal of the lower court’s ruling on the Cambie Case, re-affirming that provincial laws which limit a two-tier health care system do not contravene the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Whether it’s drug poisonings, heat waves, EMS Red Alerts or COVID-19 – the UCP government have consistently obstructed the collecting and sharing of good data in decision making
The recent article by independent investigative journalist Charles Rusnell, “The Opioid Toll, by Neighbourhood, that Alberta Tried to Hide,” paints a damning picture of how the UCP government operates. The article shows that rather than formulate their response to the ongoing drug poisoning crisis with good evidence, the provincial government hid important information from the public that contradicted its ideological approach. The government has since refused calls from harm reduction groups to release recovery and treatment program data.
Health experts say Alberta is likely in, or on the verge of a seventh wave. Other provinces including Ontario, Quebec and BC have already declared a seventh wave.
The highly contagious BA.5 variant is hitting Alberta at a time when our health care system is already struggling with staffing shortages, dozens of temporary facility closures, an EMS crisis and a drug poisoning crisis, and while we’re facing the potential for summer heat waves to put further strain on the system. Yet the UCP government has repeatedly ignored calls for policy changes to protect Albertans and to manage the pandemic over the long-term.
VICTORIA (the traditional and unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən speaking peoples) - Canada’s premiers are meeting for the Council of the Federation today and tomorrow (July 11-12, 2022). A major feature of this meeting will be the call by provincial and territorial governments to increase federal funding for health care through the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) from 22% to 35%.
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.
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.