News

  • Solidarity with Striking University of Lethbridge Faculty

    Solidarity with Striking University of Lethbridge Faculty

    Friends of Medicare stands in solidarity with University of Lethbridge Faculty Association members who are now on strike

  • Removing COVID-19 protections is a short-sighted decision based on politics, not evidence

    February 8, 2022
    EDMONTON

    Removing COVID-19 protections is a short-sighted decision based on politics, not evidence

    Although the Premier insists it will be “a careful and prudent plan,” the government’s track record suggests otherwise


    Today, Premier Jason Kenney revealed via Tweet that he will be announcing his government’s plan to lift Alberta’s public health measures. Last summer the government tried a similar approach, leaving Albertans needlessly vulnerable.

  • Health Care Workers Deserve Our Respect – Not Bullying and Intimidation

    Health Care Workers Deserve Our Respect – Not Bullying and Intimidation

    Statement from Friends of Medicare’s Executive Director, Chris Gallaway, in response to planned protests this weekend:

    The news of plans for the escalation of protests around Alberta hospitals and medical facilities this weekend is deeply concerning. Our front-line health care workers have spent the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic going above and beyond, keeping our public health care system going, and protecting Albertans. Health care workers deserve our respect and support, and our thanks for their vital service.

  • Any new federal health funding must be targeted towards stronger public health care in Alberta

    Premiers' demand for federal dollars through increased Canada Health Transfer must have strings attached to ensure it goes to improving health care for all


    The Council of the Federation, made up of the 13 provincial and territorial premiers, are meeting tomorrow with a focus on their united push for an increase in the Canada Health Transfer that the Federal government provides. Over the past two years, many of the premiers have used the ongoing pandemic as a justification to call for an unconditional increase in health funding. 
     
    “Even during this global pandemic our provincial UCP government has repeatedly shown they can’t be trusted to prioritize our public health care system over their ideological push for corporate tax cuts, layoffs, funding cuts and privatization,” said Chris Gallaway, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.
  • Community Laboratory Services Deal Puts Private Profit over Public Health Care

    January 28, 2022
    EDMONTON

    Community Laboratory Services Deal Puts Private Profit over Public Health Care

    Today, Albertans have learned that our public community medical laboratory services have been sold off to DynaLIFE Medical Labs, a private, for-profit company. The contract is slated to begin July 1, and will impact communities all across the province. The change could impact the jobs of as many as 1,400 laboratory workers – it is unclear what it will mean for workers’ pensions.

  • Shocking outbreak numbers highlight government's failure to protect seniors during Omicron wave

    January 27, 2022
    EDMONTON
     

    Shocking outbreak numbers highlight government's failure to protect seniors during Omicron wave

    Over 100 positive COVID-19 cases in Chartwell Griesbach Retirement Residence – just one of hundreds of outbreaks in Long Term Care and Designated Supportive Living facilities in Alberta


    The fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on our communities, our health care system and our seniors’ care system. As with each prior wave, it is the residents and workers of continuing care facilities who are bearing the brunt of this burden. As of January 25, the Government of Alberta COVID-19 Outbreak Tracker shows 110 Long-Term Care Facilities and 195 Supporting Living Facilities with active COVID-19 outbreaks. While the government’s tracker does not show the number of staff or residents impacted in each of these outbreaks, documents obtained by Friends of Medicare show that at least one facility has surpassed 100 positive cases.

  • Privatization is not the solution to Alberta’s EMS crisis

    January 24, 2022
    EDMONTON

    Privatization is not the solution to Alberta’s EMS crisis

    Today’s announcement reduces the EMS safety net while lining up more public health care dollars for private pockets

    Emergency Medical Services in Alberta have been in crisis for months. Yet while health care workers, unions, community groups and Albertans have all been raising the alarm bells, the government has let the crisis continue to grow without a plan, until Alberta’s EMS services have reached a breaking point. Today's announcement by the government introducing their "10-point plan was a far cry from the urgent action that is needed to repair the worsening capacity crisis facing Alberta's EMS.
  • Friends of Medicare’s statement on the Federal Speech from the Throne

    Friends of Medicare’s statement on the Federal Speech from the Throne

    Following today’s Speech from the Throne, Friends of Medicare were disappointed to see an utter lack of movement towards the long-awaited expansion and much-needed improvement of our health care system. Particularly, we saw little direction as it pertains to the implementation of universal Pharmacare, taking profits out of Long-Term Care, and investing in better and public mental health care. We had also hoped to see an indication of a permanent fix to Employment Insurance by ensuring that paid sick days for all workers is the rule and not the exemption.
  • Enough is Enough: No time left for political foot-dragging

    September 30, 2021
    EDMONTON

    Enough is Enough: No time left for political foot-dragging

    The last two press conferences held by Premier Jason Kenney and Minister of Health Jason Copping have been filled with what Premier Kenney does best: non-answers, inconsistent with what Albertans actually need to stop this devastating fourth wave. In his many non-responses to media questions, our Premier continuously compared our province’s current COVID-19 numbers with those of other jurisdictions in this and previous waves, downplaying the true gravity of our present situation. 

    “Kenney may be optimistic about our case numbers and hospital admissions appearing to have plateaued, but that’s not the outlook Albertans have been hearing from our health care workers and patients across the province,” says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “These are the same levels that have already been overwhelming our health care system. This is not sustainable and we can’t keep on like this.”

  • Government continues to play political games with our health care and our lives

    September 28, 2021
    EDMONTON

    Government continues to play political games with our health care and our lives

    Over the weekend, Albertans saw their leadership once again engage in political games with our lives, gaslighting and projecting their own negligence onto others. This time, Alberta Health Services' leadership has been called into question, specifically Dr. Yiu, AHS’ CEO and President. 
     
    In two Facebook posts that have since been deleted, UCP MLA Shane Getson pointedly called into question AHS’ COVID-19 response, claiming “we need to be getting more bang for our buck when it comes to resource planning.”