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AB government doubles down on the sale of seniors’ care to profit

September 1, 2020
EDMONTON

AB government doubles down on the sale of seniors’ care to profit

Today’s announcement by Premier Kenney and Health Minister Shandro, boasting a ‘new approach’ to creating continuing care spaces featured nothing of the sort. Instead, what we’re seeing is this government perpetuating the same old system that has been in crisis for decades. A crisis that is the direct result of rampant privatization, and a funding structure that creates incentives for both not-for-profit and especially for-profit providers to underpay their staff, and understaff their facilities.

“It is beyond comprehension as to why this government refuses to learn from the ongoing public health emergency that is COVID-19, despite the glaring light it has cast onto the long-existing cracks and weakness in our senior’s care system,” says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.

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Open Letter Re: Supervised Consumption Services, Lethbridge Alberta

On August 31, 2020—a day marking both International Overdose Awareness Day and the closure of North America's busiest supervised consumption site—over 200 harm reduction supporters and advocates signed an open letter to the Alberta government to denounce the decision to cut all funding to and close Lethbridge’s SCS, and urge them to immediately reverse the decision and reinstate appropriate funding and support new leadership to scale up SCS in Lethbridge.

Read that letter in it's entirety here:

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International Overdose Awareness Day

August 31, 2020
EDMONTON

On International Overdose Awareness Day Albertans must also mourn the loss of Lethbridge's SCS

Today, on International Overdose Awareness Day, we remember the Albertans who have died of overdose, and send out our solidarity to the parents, grandparents, children, families, and friends of those who have lost their lives. 

Ironically, while we remember and mourn, we must simultaneously watch this government move ahead with the closure of ARCHES, North America’s busiest supervised consumption site (SCS). ARCHES, located in Lethbridge, was recently audited by the Alberta government, which found evidence of misallocation of public funds. In response, rather than to address the issue directly, the government has instead elected to cease all funding to ARCHES, and close the facility altogether. ARCHES’ SCS, which opened in early 2018, sees up to 800 visits a day, and provides many additional services including needle pickup, community outreach, and referrals to addictions treatment and other supports. The facility has been replaced for the time being by a mobile site with a 3 person capacity.

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Bill 204

October 21, 2020
EDMONTON

Bill 204

As Alberta’s MLAs gear up for this year’s fall sitting of the Legislature, Albertans can expect to continue to see steadfast steps to pursue this government's ongoing agenda to privatize our public health care.
 
The October 20th, 2020 order paper indicates that among the first bills up for debate is Bill 204: Voluntary Blood Donations Repeal Act, introduced by MLA Tany Yao. Bill 204 simply calls for the repeal of the Voluntary Blood Donations Act (2017). It offers no alternative to address our current dependency on US plasma-derived products, and no reason to necessitate this repeal except to further this government’s never ending quest to privatize our public resources.
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Backroom deals, political influence are dictating Alberta's health care

Backroom deals, political influence are dictating Alberta's health care

Today’s CBC story highlights the lengths that this government will go to in order to push their privatization agenda on Albertans. A new private orthopedic surgical facilitythe largest ever in Alberta—has been proposed on the site of Ericksen Nissan, next to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, and has already gained the Minister of Health’s “tentative political support.” 

5 orthopedic surgeons, the Principal Advisor for the Minister of Health, lobbyists, and representatives from Ericksen Nissan have all come together, hired an architect and have had ongoing ready access to the Minister of Health. “This deal shows unequivocally how ideologically driven health care delivery objectives are mixing with political influence and interference in this province,” states Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “Behind closed doors, away from any public accountability, scrutiny, or oversight, the Minister of Health has given ready access to those who seek to profit from the poor health of Albertans.”

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Open Letter: Defunding Lethbridge ARCHES SCS

If you or your organization would like to add your names as signatories to this open letter, please email [email protected].
 

 
Original Sent: July 16, 2020
 
To:  Jason Luan Minister, Tyler Shandro
Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Minister of Health
CC: Premier Jason Kenney
Premier of Alberta
 

 
Open Letter: Defunding Lethbridge ARCHES SCS

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Bill 204 openly advertises the sale of blood in Alberta

Bill 204 openly advertises the sale of blood in Alberta

On July 8, 2020 MLA Tany Yao introduced Bill 204: Voluntary Blood Donations Repeal Act. This work-shy, mere 3-page bill simply calls for the repeal of the Voluntary Blood Donations Act (2017). It offers no alternative to address our current dependency on US plasma-derived products, and no reason to necessitate this repeal, except to further this government’s never ending quest to privatize our public resources.

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Friends of Medicare’s initial statement on Bill 30

Friends of Medicare’s initial statement on Bill 30

July 6, 2020

The announcement of Bill 30: Health Statutes Amendment Act, made by Health Minister Tyler Shandro today, highlights this government’s demonstrated lack of commitment to Albertans’ public health care. If passed, the omnibus bill would make sweeping changes to Albertans’ health care, including repealing or changing 9 pieces of existing health legislation.

“Bill 30 represents yet another step in the systemic process of privatization that this government has been committed to since prior to the election,” says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “It signals that this government is unable or unwilling to learn the necessary lessons from a pandemic that has made abundantly clear the importance of a responsive public health care system.”

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Albertans' blood and plasma supply under threat

June 16, 2020 11:38 AM

Albertans' blood and plasma supply under threat


Friends of Medicare have learned that in the coming days. UCP MLA Tany Yao plans to table a private members bill, Bill 204: Voluntary Blood Donations Repeal Act. With this bill, MLA Yao intends to repeal Bill 3: Voluntary Blood Donations Act, which was put into place to protect and enshrine blood and plasma as public resources under law, and to prohibit them from being treated as a market-based commodity. 
 
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Albertans & Manitobans to rally online to Fix Seniors’ Care NOW

May 26, 2020 8:29 AM

Albertans & Manitobans to rally online to Fix Seniors’ Care NOW

Today, Friends of Medicare, Manitoba Health Coalition, our allies, and advocates from across Alberta and Manitoba are taking to social media to call on our respective governments to #FixSeniorsCareNOW.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating and disproportionate toll on Canada’s seniors. With approximately 82% of deaths coming from LTC facilities, this pandemic has exposed the real-life consequences of our governments' inaction.
 
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