• AHS reverses its decision to cut funding to Nurse Coordinator at the Edmonton Down Syndrome Medical Clinic

    Friends of Medicare has confirmed that Alberta Health Services will be following through with their commitment to support children with Down syndrome in Edmonton and northern Alberta by reversing its decision to cut funding to the Nurse Coordinator position at the Edmonton Down Syndrome Medical Clinic. We are very pleased that AHS was willing to listen to the concerns brought forth by families and were able to address them in a timely manner.

  • Stollery to Eliminate Nurse Coordinator at the Edmonton Down Syndrome Medical Clinic

    Friends of Medicare has learned that on October 10, 2012, officials at the Stollery Children's Hospital were directed that due to financial constraints they have been forced to eliminate the Nurse Coordinator position at the Edmonton Down Syndrome Medical Clinic.  This budgetary decision effectively closes the Edmonton Down Syndrome Medical Clinic.  "With no Nurse coordinator, health services for children with Down Syndrome in Edmonton and northern Alberta will be significantly impacted in a negative way," says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. "Children with Down syndrome can have complex health needs and require the type of coordinated medical services that this clinic provides.  Families are very concerned about the health of their children," states Azocar.

  • Province continues to balance health care budgets on the backs of seniors

    Today, Minister Fred Horne announced a 5% increase in  charges for long-term care accommodations starting January 1st, 2013. He sweetened the blow to seniors by opening up with the announcement that he will offset this financial impact to our low income seniors by increasing financial assistance through the Alberta Seniors Benefit (ASB) and Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH).

  • AHS Challenged for Outrageous Severance Payments

    Edmonton - Alberta Health Services (AHS) paid $738,000 in severance to an Executive Vice President, Andrew Will, who left in February, after only 18 months on this job. The payment also included $99,000 in "at risk pay" for the 18-month severance period. Friends of Medicare Executive Director Sandra Azocar says, "this is yet another insult to Alberta's health care workers and taxpayers, and we want the Auditor General to review it."

  • New Health Services Chair Admits his Political Bias

    Friends of Medicare is concerned to hear that the new chair of the Alberta Health Services board, Stephen Lockwood, is a businessman who is an active supporter of both the Conservative and Wildrose party.

  • Friends of Medicare Welcomes New Executive Director

    Friends of Medicare is proud to welcome its new Executive Director, Sandra Azocar. Sandra comes to the organization with a strong background in health care advocacy and social reform. With a decades long career as a Child Welfare Worker with the Government of Alberta and three terms at the Vice President of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Sandra will be a strong voice to ensure that Alberta's health care system is strengthened and expanded.

  • Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Lavish Executive Expenses

    Friends of Medicare denounces the inappropriate and excessive expenses claimed by Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Allaudin Merali during his employment with with Alberta Health Services and the now dissolved Capital Health Region. It has come to light through a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) request that Merali claimed nearly $350,000 in expenses from 2005-2008, including costs for travel and hosting.

  • New Health Minister Carries Heavy Baggage

    Friends of Medicare would like to acknowledge Fred Horne’s appointment as Alberta’s Minister of Health this morning. “While we wish him the best, Mr. Horne carries a lot of baggage from his involvement with private health initiatives,” said David Eggen, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.

  • Provincial Government Must Disclose Terms of Chartwell Contract for Seniors Housing

    While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pay tribute to Canada’s military at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Rotary Challenger Park, 29 seniors, including many war veterans from the Colonel Belcher Seniors residence in Calgary are facing eviction.

  • Unfair long term care rate hikes will be taken to court

    Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling to allow James Darwish and the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society's class action suit against the Provincial Government is an important step forward to re-build adequate and affordable long-term care services in Alberta, says Friends of Medicare.