News Stories of Interest, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014

Hi there! It’s Revolution Day in Mozambique. There were a few news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

Problems with the wrong patients in acute care beds continue

Despite AHS switching the way it measures the problem, and despite a four-year commitment to shorten lineups in acute care, Alberta Health Services documents show a rising proportion of acute-care spaces are occupied by patients waiting for a less-expensive room in a continuing care facility. Emergency room wait times available online for Edmonton-area hospitals will also include Strathcona Community Hospital starting tomorrow.

The term ‘bed blocker’ is derogatory: letter

“‘Bed blockers’ is a disparaging term that has been widely used by health administrators, some health-care workers in acute care and the media,” an Edmonton MD writes a local paper. “It is disappointing to see our new Health Minister, Stephen Mandel, use it to describe the most vulnerable group in our society. This derogatory term puts the blame on mainly frail older adults who find themselves occupying an acute-care bed through no fault of their own, but as a result of years of failed government health policies.”

Stephen Mandel to run in Dave Hancock’s former Edmonton riding

Former Edmonton mayor turned Health Minister Stephen Mandel will run for provincial office in former premier Dave Hancock’s riding. The Progressive Conservative Party announced yesterday that Mandel and Education Minister Gordon Dirks have been named as the official candidates for Edmonton-Whitemud and Calgary-Elbow, respectively. The pair will run in by-elections this fall under new Premier Jim Prentice, who will also run in a by-election in Calgary.

Nothing new about Prentice Promises

Jim Prentice? Alison Redford? Ed Stelmach? They’ve all made the same promises about openness, transparency and accountability, Edmonton Journal political columnist Graham Thomson points out.

Canada to contribute another $30 million to Ebola fight

Canada is contributing another $30 million to the fight against the Ebola outbreak in Africa. International Development Minister Christian Paradis says the money will be channelled through the Canadian Red Cross and other agencies.

Dangerous drug on sale in Edmonton area as fake Oxycontin

A potentially lethal prescription pain killer is being sold on the streets in the Edmonton area. St. Albert RCMP said the pills are being sold as Oxycontin but in fact contain a drug called fentanyl, a powerful painkiller experts say is cheaper and more potent than morphine.

Forget the fridge – new vaccine storage technique shows promise

Forget fridges and cumbersome packaging, researchers have developed a new method to store vaccines for months at a time without refrigeration. It’s a practice could help revolutionize and improve health care in areas of the world without reliable electricity.

Ontario program brings organ donors from overseas

Each year up to 10 people travel to Ontario from overseas to provide a kidney or piece of their liver to a loved one. A program by the provincial organ transplant agency picks up much of the expense, including flights, accommodation and meals while donors are in the province before and after the surgery.

D-68 Enterovirus continues spreading

A respiratory illness that has hospitalized children across North American is continuing to spread in Alberta and Calgary appears to be the hotbed. According to Alberta Health Services, there are now 49 confirmed cases of Entorovirus D-68 in the province, 28 in Calgary. Those cases were confirmed between July 1 and Sept. 10.

Drug firm to quarantine suspect medicine from India

Health Canada, criticized recently as a “feeble” watchdog, has convinced a giant Toronto-based drug company to quarantine suspect drug products from India. The federal regulator has announced that Canadian generic drug maker Apotex will stop distribution to Canadian retailers of all products manufactured at one of Apotex’s factories in Bangalore.

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

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