• Albertans should be very worried about today’s drastic health care announcement

    EDMONTON — Following yesterday’s leaked documents, Danielle Smith’s government followed through on announcing a massive restructuring of public health care in Alberta, as well as a new Alberta Health Services Board chaired by a former conservative cabinet minister, Lyle Oberg. None of this was part of the UCP’s platform in this year’s election.

    After years of unprecedented pressures on our public health care system, health care workers and patients in this province are seeking certainty when it comes to something as important as our public health care system. They aren’t looking for changes of this scale being directed by politicians, rather than health care experts and community needs.

  • Leaked UCP proposal to drastically restructure Alberta Health Services will only make things worse

    Today, the Alberta NDP released documents which show the UCP government’s intent to dismantle Alberta Health Services, with a drastic plan for restructuring and the potential for even more contracting out of Alberta’s vital health care services.

    The outlined plan would be a massive undertaking that would impact every area of our already struggling public health care system. It provides little information to suggest how it will improve local decision making power as purported. Instead, the UCP government intends to disassemble and silo the various sectors of our public health care system, potentially creating even more barriers to access.

  • All MLAs Should Support Bill 201 and Ban Access Fees for Medical Care

    This afternoon, Gurinder Brar, MLA for Calgary North East, tabled Bill 201: the Alberta Health Care Insurance (Access Fees) Amendment Act. If passed, this legislation would ban access fees and membership-only health care, and require the Minister to enforce the Act.

  • Throne Speech Missed Opportunity to Address Albertans’ Health Care Needs

    EDMONTON — This afternoon, Danielle Smith tabled her first Speech from the Throne since being re-elected Premier. The speech promises disappointingly little in terms of protecting and improving Alberta’s public health care, and continues to push their failing agenda of privatization. There was no indication as to how the government plans to repair the damage they have wreaked on Alberta’s public health care system, besides proposing a vague commitment to decentralize health care decision making.

  • 40 Reasons to Support Friends of Medicare…

    Today is Tommy Douglas Day!

    Every year, October 20 is a day for us to celebrate the contributions of Thomas “Tommy” Clement Douglas: the "Greatest Canadian" and the man who brought universal public Medicare to Canada. It is a day to recommit ourselves to the vital work of protecting and strengthening our public health care system.

    It also happens to be my 40th birthday.

    And what I really want this year, my birthday wish, is that you take a moment to join us in the fight to save our public health care system by becoming a member of Friends of Medicare, or renewing your membership for 2024.

  • Reconciliation must mean closing inequities and addressing systemic racism in health care

    A Reflection on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:

    We cannot claim to have universal Medicare without ensuring it includes everyone. This means getting serious about finally addressing the deep health inequities that Indigenous people continue to face in our province and country; it means taking the necessary action to close the structural gaps to accessing care; it means meaningfully addressing the social determinants of health; and it means dismantling the systemic racism built into our health care system.

  • It's crunch time for pharmacare!

    On September 7, Friends of Medicare hosted a public townhall event in Edmonton, on how we can achieve a national, universal, public townhall for all. 

    We were joined by panelists Elizabeth Kwan, Senior Researcher for the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), Pauline Worsfold, Chair of the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC), and Judy Lederer, President of the Edmonton Area Council of the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada (CURC) and co-chair of the Alberta Pharmacare Working Group. We heard from our panelists and participants about how critical this political moment is in the fight for a universal, public drug program — and how important it is that we don't miss our chance to act on it.

    Judy Lederer also sits on the board of Friends of Medicare, and has shared her presentation with us here:

  • As Parliament Returns, Trudeau Government Must Finally Fulfill Promise on Universal Pharmacare

    The Confidence and Supply Agreement signed between the federal Liberal and New Democratic Parties puts universal, single-payer, public Pharmacare on the House of Commons agenda this fall, with a promise to table and pass a national act before the end of 2023. A private members bill, tabled by the NDP earlier this year, lays out what they believe a national act should look like. With Parliament reconvening today, Friends of Medicare is renewing our call for the federal government to act to urgently implement Pharmacare.

  • Friends of Medicare Joins in National Day of Action for Status for All

    On Sunday, September 17, Migrants Rights Network and allies in cities across the country will be holding a nation-wide Day of Action for Status for All. Friends of Medicare will be joining Migrante Alberta, and other advocates at the Alberta Legislature, to call on the federal government to keep their promise to ensure regularization for undocumented migrants and permanent resident status for all without further delay.

  • Joint Statement: Independent Public Inquiry Required into Ongoing E. Coli Outbreak

    EDMONTON - The UCP government’s woefully inadequate response to what is likely the worst pediatric E. Coli outbreak in Canadian history continues to fuel mistrust in this government’s ability to respond to public health crises. Today, Public Interest Alberta and Friends of Medicare are calling for an immediate and independent public inquiry into all entities involved – both government and non-government.