News Stories of Interest, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013

Good morning. Today is the United Nations Day of Persons with Disabilities. Here in Alberta, the attack on trade unions and their members by the Redford Government continues apace, and there were other stories of interest to UNA members and staff as well:

[ ]AHS to monitor after senior left in soiled diaper until her flesh blackened

Alberta’s Health Minister says his department will investigate further the case of a 74-year-old senior who was left with untreated bedsores for so long that her flesh blackened and decayed. Violet McDonald, 73, has since died. Here’s the Calgary Herald’s version of the story.

[ ]Wildrose calls for independent seniors’ advocate

The Wildrose Opposition has called for an independent advocate for seniors as a result of the case noted above, which took place at Calgary’s McKenzie Towne Care Centre, owned by Revera Inc.

[ ]Hundreds rally for third day in response to anti-labour bills

Alberta MLAs were scheduled to begin debating two controversial government labour bills yesterday evening, hours after hundreds braved snow and frigid temperatures to rally at the steps of the Alberta Legislature for the third time in less than a week.

[ ]Wildrose and Alberta unions ‘make strange bedfellows’ – columnist

Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons comments with surprise on the defence of union rights by Alberta’s right-wing Wildrose Opposition.

[ ]Public sector workers not the villains: AUPE president

AUPE President Guy Smith writes that it’s time Albertans stop falling for the “Bitumen Bubble” scam, and corrects suggestions in an Edmonton Journal editorial that public employees are treated better than their private sector counterparts in Alberta.

[ ]Speaker slaps Redford Government with contempt ruling

The Redford government has been slapped with a rare rebuke from Speaker Gene Zwozdesky, who ruled Monday the province was in contempt of the legislature with a controversial brochure that bragged about public employee pay freezes not yet approved by MLAs.

[ ]U of A and AHS create algorithm to help breast cancer diagnosis

Artificial intelligence is helping researchers determine if estrogen is encouraging tumour growth in breast cancer patients. Researchers from the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services have created a computer algorithm that they say is able to predict whether a tumour is "hormone sensitive." By determining which tumours are receiving the hormone, doctors can prescribe anti-estrogen drug therapies.

[ ]Home care changes hurt patients, documents obtained by CBC show

The province’s transition to new home care providers prompted more complaints than first thought, including families reporting that their new caregivers would not show up to appointments, an exclusive CBC investigation has found. The abrupt changes meant that many elderly home care clients lost their longtime caregivers, and home care workers were forced to apply for new jobs with a different employer.

[ ]Bonnyville concerned by ambulance dispatch changes

EMS used to arrive first to co-response scenes probably 95 per cent of the time, say officials in Bonnyville. Now that AHS is in the ambulance driver’s seat, the fire department is first at the scene 80 per cent of the time, increasing the need for fire personnel to provide medical first response until the ambulances arrive, they say.

[ ]CFNU asks offers help giving ‘Dr. Profit’ the boot

It’s “Giving Tuesday,” and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions says it will match up to $10,000 individual donations to The BC Health Coalition and Canadian Doctors for Medicare, who plan to intervene to counter a legal attack on Canada’s public health care system by the operator of a for-profit medical clinic.

[ ]Beaverlodge seeks funds for new health complex

The Town of Beaverlodge will see a new health complex built in the next few years as the community raises the cash for construction. Third party investors have already expressed interest in building the new complex, which would add to the town’s upcoming family care clinic.

[ ]Registered Nurses stage one-day strike

The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, the union that represents more than 450 registered nurses at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, is holding a one-day strike at the private-sector hospital today. The hospital is attempting to operate normally.

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

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