News Stories of Interest, Friday, Aug. 29, 2015

Good morning. It’s Miner’s Day in Ukraine. On this day in 1883, in Ottawa, I kid you not, the world’s first dinner cooked on an electric stove was prepared. And it is, of course, the Friday before the Labour Day long weekend. Here in Alberta, there were a few news stories in the past few days of interest to UNA members and staff:

U of A surgeons break transplant record

University hospital surgeons have once again broken Alberta’s transplant record. From July 18 to 27, the team transplanted 32 organs breaking the previous record of 30 in a 10-day span.

Canadian hospital staffers get Ebola workshops

While federal public health authorities have assured Canadians that there is very little risk of an Ebola outbreak in Canada, hospitals across the country are training staff and reinforcing protocols should an infected patient walk through their doors. In Toronto, hospitals are drawing on their experience with SARS.

Provinces are suffering ‘fiscal imbalance’

With an eye to using the coming federal election as leverage, Canada’s provincial premiers are urging Ottawa to make significant investments – and they have narrowed their demands to two areas they say are crucial to the country: health care for an aging population and the nation’s infrastructure.

Baby photographers: a new danger area for health info security

Six Toronto area hospitals compromised their patients’ personal health data by routinely handing it over to baby photographers who paid for access to maternity wards.

NDP’s Rachel Notley vows commitment to health care investment

NDP Leadership candidate Rachel Notley said in a policy statement she is “committed to reinvesting in public long-term care beds, ending bed closures in rural hospitals, and bringing Alberta’s investment in mental health care up to the national average and beyond.” That includes a replacement for Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital, she said.

Calgary 911 changes called dangerous

Plans by Alberta Health Services to hang up on Calgary’s integrated 9-1-1 call centre could put lives in jeopardy, warns a union official. The union representing some 300 workers in the city’s Public Safety Communications Centre — which dispatches emergency calls for police, fire and EMS — said the scheme to set up an AHS ambulance call centre in Calgary by 2015 makes little sense, and likely is more motivated by financial reasons than public safety.

Edmonton supports AHS dispatch changes

While other cities across Alberta have opposed the consolidation of Alberta Health Services-led ambulance dispatch centres, the head of the Edmonton Police Association, Tony Simioni, is all for it. “We’re supportive of it here,” the union leader said. “A co-ordinated approach is something Edmonton has always believed in.”

Japan braces for a health crisis you never thought of

The Japanese government is rolling out a public-awareness campaign called “Let’s Stockpile Toilet Paper” that includes a summit of industry leaders and the sale of specially packaged “emergency use” toilet tissue. The campaign is part of the country’s “toilet paper supply continuity plan” created in response to shortages after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Wearing white? “The Nerdy Nurse” website rates white shoes

A website called “The Nerdy Nurse” rates white shoes for women nurses. Sorry to disappoint – I include this mainly as a nursing oddity – but they mostly look like clogs to me.

My apologies for missing the past couple of days of news summaries – there were few news stories of interest and your communications staff was putting the finishing touches on the September issue of News Bulletin, which has now gone to the printer. I am taking a two-week vacation to deal with some important family business in another province, so this news summary will return on about September 16. Have a great Labour Day weekend, everyone.

David Climenhaga
Communications Advisor
United Nurses of Alberta
780-425-1025 (Office)
780-717-2943 (Cellular)
www.una.ab.ca

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