• Friends of Medicare sends questions to PC leadership candidates, receives no answers

    Friends of Medicare has forwarded two sets of questions to the three PC leadership candidates. We received a form response from Jim Prentice's team which was basically a repeat of his 'health care policy' which left us with more questions than answers. We received no responses from Ric McIver or Thomas Lukaszuk. Both of these candidates have yet to share their formal policy on health care. Here is the first set of questions we sent to the candidates:

  • Alberta Government continues to use seniors' care funding to pour money into corporate profits


    Multi-national American corporation Health Care Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)announced yesterday the $950 million purchase of Ontario-based multi-nationalHealthLease. The deal will add more than 5,000 beds or units in Alberta and the United States to their health care portfolio. Those beds include a 200-bed facility in High River built in part with public funding to a private company called Continuum Health, which was purchased in April by HealthLease. A report issued last year by the University of Alberta-based Parkland Institute showed that private, for-profit assisted living facilities received high return on investment for shareholders but provided a lower quality of care for those living in them than public facilities did. It showed that the private facilities are understaffed by an average of 90 minutes of care per resident each day.

  • Prentice Speaks and Horne Jumps - AHS Reinstates Board of Directors

    Even before he becomes the leader of the PC party and Premier of Alberta, Jim Prentice is setting the stage for yet another rerun of how AHS governs our health care system. Prentice has pledged to reinstate the "high-profile board" if elected Premier and yesterday Health Minister Fred Horne announced he will fulfill the promise early by returning AHS to what he called "normal governance."


    Friends of Medicare attended a luncheon in Calgary today organized by the Economic Club of Canada, where PC leadership front-runner Jim Prentice announced his health care policy. The policy was short and included little detail.


    Premier-to-be must level with Albertans about his personal financial interest in elitist private health care

    In May 2012, Jim Prentice joined the Board of Coril Holdings Ltd. Coril is a Calgary-based private investment company that owns Inliv, a big medical clinic in Calgary which aggressively markets a product called "Total Health Management," at a cost of $4,495 a year.

  • Reduction in care at Michener Centre shows government at its worst

    On May 26th, 2014 Alberta Human Services advised families of the remaining residents at Michener Centre in Red Deer that starting June 1, 2014, the severely developmentally disabled residents of Michener Center will not be receiving nursing care on weekends and statutory holidays.  Staff working with residents will have to access health links, the nearest walk-in clinic, or hospital to assist residents.

  • Albertans, Hold Onto Your Tea and Crackers as We Welcome New AHS CEO

    Friends of Medicare welcomes new AHS CEO Vicki Kaminski. Kaminski is no stranger to the challenges of working in complex health care systems.  In 2009, when she became the head of the very troubled Eastern Health Authority Labrador and Newfoundland (EHALN), it was still reeling from the scandal-related to problems with breast screening from 1997 and 2005.  Many credit Kaminski with restoring the public's faith in the Newfoundland and Labrador health care system.

  • Provincial Budget Cuts Per Capita Health Care Spending, Acute Care Services

    The $18.3 billion going to this year's Ministry of Health operational budget, which includes $10.7 billion going to the Alberta Health Services base operating grant, when considering population and inflation growth, means the government is cutting health care spending per person. The cuts include a $26 million cut to acute care services.

  • Slave Lake Residents in Edmonton to Push for Essential Health Care Services

    Concerned Citizens of Slave Lake and Friends of Medicare are at the Legislative Assembly today to table a petition which asks AHS to reinstate their four physicians who resigned in December, 2013, citing patient advocacy issues. The resignations served as a catalyst for the community to take a stand on the lack of health care services which faces the Town of Slave Lake and the surrounding areas. Slave Lake had 13 doctors practicing medicine before the 2011 wildfires devastated the town. In the aftermath, five doctors relocated elsewhere. AHS opened the Family Care Clinic (FCC), staffed with seven doctors, four of whom were the doctors who recently resigned.

  • Throne Speech Signals Less Health Care for Albertans

    Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare, made the following statement today following the Alberta government's Throne Speech: