News Stories of Interest, Friday, July 11, 2014

Here in Alberta, there were a few news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

[ ]Prentice promises to reinstate Alberta Health Services board

Tory leadership hopeful Jim Prentice says he would bring back an independent board of directors to oversee Alberta Health Services, just one year after the Progressive Conservative government turned the directors and replaced them with a single administrator.

[ ]Education minister backs off teacher discipline records request

Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson is putting off his deadline for the Alberta Teachers Association to release teacher complaint records. Dan Powers, spokesman for the ministry, said the minister and the president of the ATA have been in discussions and are willing to have "serious, constructive" talks about fixing the system, pushing back the Friday deadline originally put forward to release the 10 years worth of records. Did someone give Johnson a talking to?

[ ]Flu shot during pregnancy protects mom, baby: study

Most doctors do not recommend flu shots to pregnant patients, yet those women are more likely to develop serious complications if they do get the flu, according to a new report. In the review of past studies, researchers also found that pregnant women had concerns about the safety of the flu vaccine and tended to underestimate the risk that the virus posed to themselves and their fetuses. Flu vaccines given to pregnant women immunize them and protect their infants against the flu until they are six months old, the researchers write in the journal Vaccine.

[ ]Health care system shouldn’t be a weapon: editorial

There are only two possible explanations for a refugee health-care policy that effectively holds the health of children hostage in the war against “bogus” claims by their parents, the Edmonton Journal writes in an editorial. “One, the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is just, plain kick-a-dog mean. Or two, it coldly calculates that Federal Court Judge Anne Activism is out of step with Canadian values when she contends that jeopardizing ‘the health, the safety and indeed the very lives, of these innocent and vulnerable children … shocks the conscience and outrages Canadian standards of decency.’”

[ ]Insurance firms’ genetic tests discouraged by privacy watchdog

Use of genetic test results by insurance companies isn’t justified, says Canada’s privacy watchdog, which is urging insurers not to use them in assessing risk. Protecting privacy in the face of advances in the science and technology of genetic testing is becoming challenging, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada says.

[ ]‘Good news’ antibiotic story not such good news

A decision by Health Canada to stop letting farmers use antibiotics as growth promoters sounds like good news, but may mean less than it appears, the CBC’s health reporter says.

[ ]Labour Relations: Teacher discipline agency’s ex-chair faces misconduct charge

The Ontario College of Teachers’ former discipline chair is facing charges of professional misconduct for authoring a soft porn book containing “explicit content” involving Grade 9 students and negative descriptions of teachers.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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

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