News Stories of Interest, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014

Good morning. It’s Inventor’s Day in Argentina and Victory Day in Paraguay. According to the Wikipedia, it’s International Coffee Day – as if every day wasn’t. Premier Jim Prentice is expected to announce the details of several by-elections in about half an hour. There are lots of stories today of interest to UNA members and staff. Here is a selection:

Police investigating alleged sexual assault at Royal Alex

Edmonton Police are investigating the alleged sexual assault of a dementia patient at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Police have confirmed the EPS sexual assault response team has been called in after a 52-year-old woman filed a complaint over the weekend. A spokesperson for Health Minister Stephen Mandel says Mandel has requested a full briefing from AHS about the alleged incident. Here’s the Edmonton Journal’s version of the story.

New AMA president intends to tackle docs’ pay issue

Dr. Richard Johnson, the new president of the Alberta Medical Association, is hoping to work constructively with the government to reform how physicians get compensated, which he believes can lead to better care for people with complex and chronic conditions.

Why palliative care should come sooner than later

There is now a movement toward what has been called “early palliative care” – getting help when it is needed, rather than waiting until all other treatments have been stopped.

AHS scraps plan to cut nursing home beds: Herald

The chief executive of Alberta Health Services told reporters Thursday there is now a pressing need to increase the number of nursing home beds in and around Calgary and Red Deer to try to eliminate the mounting logjam at acute-care facilities. The province has touted the addition of thousands of new spaces for ailing seniors in recent years, the Herald observed, but most have been supportive-living beds, which are cheaper because they offer residents less nursing care.

Health minister vows action on long ER waits

Health Minister Stephen Mandel said Friday Albertans should not be forced to wait “hours on end” in hospital emergency rooms and the province will move to build a number of extended care facilities, but opposition critics remain dubious.

Mandel’s by-election opponents come out swinging

Opposition parties introduced their candidates Friday to take on unelected Health Minister Stephen Mandel in the coming Edmonton-Whitemud by-election. The Wildrose Party fielded businessman Tim Grover, and the NDP will run veteran oncologist Dr. Bob Turner, who launched into a full-scale assault on Mandel’s credentials and pilloried the Tory government for multiple health care failures he has witnessed first-hand.

AUPE files defamation suit against Tweeter, blogger, politician

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees has filed a $500,000 defamation lawsuit against an unidentified blogger, an Ontario politician and an Edmonton woman who is well-known on social media. The lawsuit has been filed against Edmonton’s Kathleen Smith (known on Twitter as @KikkiPlanet), Ontario Tory Jason Tucker, who is currently seeking the federal Conservative Party nomination in the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas riding, and a blogger, who is only identified as Jane Doe in the Statement of Claim.

Former deputy PM had to wait for a bed in Ottawa hospital

Former deputy prime minister Herb Gray, who was a Liberal member of Parliament when medicare was adopted in 1966, was forced to wait in the emergency room at The Ottawa Hospital on a stretcher for 48 hours before being moved to a bed, his widow Sharon Sholzberg-Gray says. Gray, one of the longest-serving MPs in Canadian history, died at the Civic campus of The Ottawa Hospital in April. He was 82.

Senate restarts debate on union finance bill

A controversial bill that would force unions to reveal their spending habits may get through the Senate unscathed, despite an earlier attempt by some senators to soften – some say “gut” – its proposals. Two Conservative senators with union backgrounds have been tapped to push the controversial bill through the upper chamber.

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

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