News Stories of Interest, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014

Good afternoon. It’s Unification Day in Romania. Here in Alberta, there were several stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

[ ]Stolen laptop contained names and health records of 620,000 Albertans

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne said Wednesday he is “outraged” that a laptop containing personal information of 620,000 patients was stolen four months ago but was only now brought to his department’s attention, the Canadian Press reports. The information includes unencrypted names, birthdates, health card numbers, billing codes, billing amounts and diagnostic codes for patients who were seen at Medicare clinics around the province from May 2, 2011, to Sept. 19, 2013. Patients are concerned, [ ]says the Calgary Herald.

[ ]‘Don’t blame me,’ says privacy commish: ‘I have no authority to report health data leaks’

“Currently, there are no provisions under Alberta’s Health Information Act requiring a health custodian to report a breach to my Office or notify affected individuals. When we do receive reports of this nature, it is done on a voluntary basis. Decisions about when and if affected individuals will be notified of a breach are the responsibility of the custodian. I have no authority to require custodians to notify affected individuals.” Got that?

[ ]Tory labour bills targetting provincial union could be electoral poison

Bill 45 is a draconian assault on free speech that could see union leaders fined up to $1 million a day for muttering about strikes in their sleep, writes Calgary Herald political columnist Don Brad. Its effect, he argues, is that it may already “have killed the goose that laid the golden majority.”

[ ]To vaccinate or not? Nurses may have the question answered for them

One of the biggest and most contentious challenges facing Canadian hospitals is convincing health-care workers to get immunized, says the Globe and Mail in a series on Canadian hospitals. The article quotes advocates of compulsory immunization.

[ ]We’ll have to wait for answers in case of hand-sanitizer death

A woman who died at the Royal Alex Hospital in Edmonton in 2009 after drinking hand sanitizer for the alcohol in it was failed by the health care system, the criminal justice system and the social welfare system long before her last 48 hours at the Royal Alex, Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons writes.

[ ]Calgary Herald editorial: ‘Reform of public-sector plans is in everyone’s best interest’

Its work rife with inaccuracies and spin, the Calgary Herald’s editorial board has come out in favour of Finance Minister Doug Horner’s attack on public sector pension plans, including LAPP.

[ ]More than 30 still missing after fire in Quebec seniors’ residence

Three people are confirmed dead and 30 missing after an intense night-time fire destroyed a Quebec seniors’ residence that was only partially equipped with sprinklers.

[ ]Indian nursing students strike after rejection

The Indian Nurses Association called for an indefinite strike today after the admission of about 640 nursing students was rejected by college authorities after the students wrote their first-year exams in the state of Maharashtra.

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

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