News Stories of Interest, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

Good morning. It’s International Orthopedic Nurses Day. On this day in 1995, voters in Quebec said No to independence by a vote of only 50.6 per cent. This is technically known as "too close for comfort." Here in Alberta, there were as usual a few stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

[ ]Sundre nurses raise awareness of job losses

About 25 United Nurses of Alberta members walked through Sundre wearing white on Oct. 22 to raise awareness about nurses losing their jobs across Alberta, the Sundre Roundup reports. Across Alberta, Registered Nurse, Registered Psychiatric Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse jobs are disappearing as the government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services implement staffing changes they call “workforce transformation” and the “clinical workforce strategic plan,” according to Irma van den Hadelkamp, local president of UNA.

[ ]Edmonton pathologists object to privatization plan

Pathologists at University of Alberta Hospital are joining the opposition to plans to have more medical tests in Edmonton processed in a central, private lab. In an Oct. 9 letter to Alberta Health Services executives, a group of 16 pathologists insists the proposal to concentrate responsibility for most lab services under one private corporation could result in patients waiting longer for care.

[ ]For profit labs just don’t work: opinion

The Alberta government is proposing to give the private sector a 15-year contract to run medical laboratory services in Edmonton. This policy meets the popular definition of insanity: a condition where you do the same thing again expecting a different result. The government proposal has been tried many times before, twice in Alberta, and it has not worked.

[ ]Pay kidney donors, say U of C-led docs’ group

Paying living kidney donors $10,000 could boost donations and cost effectively improve quality of life for people who would otherwise be on dialysis, a group of Canadian doctors argue in an article in an upcoming edition of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The group is led by a teacher from the University of Calgary, a publicly supported institution that has become a leading producer of ideological market fundamentalist propaganda.

[ ]Paying for organs? Yes or no?

So, is cash for transplantable organs a good idea or not, and if not, why? A prominent medical ethicist argues in the Globe and Mail that it’s not.

[ ]Report shows health care spending slows in Canada

Data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows total health spending in Canada has slowed. This year spending is expected to hit $211 billion, up 2.6 per cent from the total for 2012. The report says that increase is less than half the average annual growth racked up from 2000 to 2010, which came in at about seven per cent, on average, each year. The agency says slowing of spending on hospitals, physicians and drugs is creating the effect.

[ ]Number of Alberta measles cases reach 13

The measles has started to spread quickly in Lethbridge, as the official number of confirmed cases jumped up to 13 as of yesterday afternoon, the Lethbridge Herald reports. [ ]Health officials fear the highly contagious disease is bound to spread rapidly.

[ ]New AHS CEO eyes better mental health strategies for kids

Alberta’s new frontline health boss says he’s appalled by efforts to deal with children’s mental health issues and he plans to push forward early intervention strategies. Duncan Campbell made the remarks when outlining his chief concerns after being named acting CEO of Alberta Health Services.

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

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