• Insulin Pump Decision Shows Albertans Fighting Back Can Win

    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.

  • Albertans Deserve Access to a Fourth Vaccine Dose

    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.

  • FOM Responds to the Cambie Case Appeal

    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. 

  • Albertans Deserve a Premier Who Supports Good Data and Evidence-Based Health Policies

    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. 

  • Alberta needs action to address future waves of COVID-19

    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.

  • Canada's Health Coalitions Call For New Health Accord

    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%. 

  • Alberta Must Do More to Prepare for Extreme Heat Events

    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.

  • Reflecting on 60 years of Medicare: Putting People Before Profit

    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.

  • Government scheme to move surgeries to private clinics in BC absurd, costly and undermines patient care

    Earlier today, the NDP Opposition released FOIP documents showing that the UCP government is working on a plan to send Alberta patients and surgeons to private surgical centres in British Columbia. 

    “This plan is not rooted in evidence and not supported by clinical leaders in our province,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “It has nothing to do with shortening waitlists and nothing to do with expanding surgical capacity here in Alberta. This is a purely ideological plan to further expand the role of private health care in Canada, while using our public health care dollars to facilitate private profits for a surgical centre in BC.”

  • Alberta Seniors Need Protection from Elder Abuse

    Public Interest Alberta and Friends of Medicare are recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by calling again on the UCP Government to bring back a Seniors Advocate.

    “The UCP government continues to sputter in chaos, as elder abuse remains a real crisis facing Alberta seniors. They deserve better than empty rhetoric from this government,” said Bradley Lafortune, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “The UCP government needs to recognize Elder Abuse Awareness Day by taking action starting with creating an independent seniors advocate.”