News Stories of Interest, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013

Good afternoon. It’s Immigrant’s Day in Argentina. Here in Alberta, there were a few news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

[ ]AHS governance review coming soon

An Alberta Health Services governance review ordered amid a dramatic showdown between the medical authority’s former board and the Redford government is set to be complete within weeks. Health Minister Fred Horne said he’ll make the report — from AHS administrator Janet Davidson — public once he’s received it, likely later this month.

[ ]Health group coalition seeks end to coal fired power generation in Alberta

A coalition of health organizations is calling on the Alberta government to phase out coal-fired electricity to save lives and cut soaring medical costs. In what it says is the first campaign of its kind, the Asthma Society of Canada, The Lung Association and Canadian Association of Physicians and the Environment began taking out advertisements on Wednesday that support energy conservation and wind and solar power.

[ ]Hypertension under-diagnosed, poorly controlled worldwide: Canadian study

A large Canadian-led study shows that even though the risks posed by high blood pressure are well known, the condition remains under-diagnosed and poorly controlled around the world.

[ ]Town’s effort to lobby won’t change plans: Horne

Health Minister Fred Horne is giving the cold shoulder to an Alberta community’s plans to hire a lobbyist to make a pitch for a new hospital. Horne said a new hospital isn’t in the works for Rocky Mountain House, and a paid lobbyist won’t convince him otherwise. Meanwhile, [ ]unrelated reports revealed that a Tory MLA who lobbied on behalf of his own company had no trouble getting senior officials to listen to his concerns.

[ ]Illness forces family to abandon Fort McMurray

The streets may be paved with black gold in Fort McMurray, but there is no facility for a seriously ill man whose nervous system is shutting down, and there was no place for a 92-year-old blind woman to receive continuous care.

[ ]Agencies unhappy with AHS tendering process

A confidential report into how Alberta Health Services awarded new home-care contracts reveals competing agencies expressed a wide range of complaints over the process. The AHS report shows agencies complained about a lack of transparency, deadlines that were too tight, and made allegations that some companies directly approached the premier.

[ ]Federal officials tried to limit numbers of ‘high needs’ refugees

The federal government has examined setting limits on the number of refugees that Canada takes in with health problems, such as trauma from torture. Staff at Citizenship and Immigration Canada were asked last year to suggest ways to cut down on the number of “high needs” refugees in order to reduce strain on the health-care system, according to documents obtained by The Canadian Press.

[ ]Mayerthorpe DIB continues working

Mayerthorpe and the seven other Extendicare facilities in Alberta, which were poised to go on strike on Monday, July 8, are still working with a Dispute Inquiry Board. The board was initially given a 45-day period which ended are Aug. 19, but that wasn’t enough time, Paul McDowell, Mayerthorpe Extendicare shop steward for the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees said.

David Climenhaga
Communications Advisor
United Nurses of Alberta
780-425-1025 (Office)
780-717-2943 (Cellular)

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