News Stories of Interest, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

Good morning. It’s Independence Day in Botswana (from Britain in 1966). It’s also International Translation Day. Canada’s health ministers are meeting in Banff today and UNA representatives are there to observe. There were several important news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

Edmonton police confirm hospital staff didn’t tell them about sexual assault

Police have confirmed that staff at the Royal Alexandra Hospital never contacted them to report that a female patient undergoing psychiatric treatment may have been sexually assaulted, the Edmonton Journal reports. The 52-year-old woman, who suffers from dementia and schizophrenia, told staff on Wednesday that she feared she had been raped by a fellow patient in the mental health ward. Here’s a Global News story on the situation.

Commentary: Are allegations delusion or reality?

While their judgment is impaired, Alberta Health has a legal and moral obligation to protect patients, not just from sexual exploitation by others, but from their own disordered reason, Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons writes in a commentary on the sexual assault investigation at the Royal Alex Hospital.

Four by-elections to take place in Alberta

Albertans will go to the polls in four by-elections on Oct. 27, after two more Calgary MLAs announced Monday they are resigning and Premier Jim Prentice tries to get himself and his two unelected cabinet ministers, including Health Minister Stephen Mandel, into cabinet. The “mini-election” could have dramatic consequences for several parties, but could mean political life or death for new Premier Jim Prentice, says the Calgary Herald.

Closing coal plants could save Alberta millions in health costs

Alberta would save millions in health-care costs by phasing out coal-burning power plants, says a leading U.S. expert on the health effects of air pollution from coal. Dr. Alan Lockwood says the U.S. saves $2 trillion in health-care costs each year by reducing pollution from coal plants under the Clean Air Act and closing older plants.

Nova Scotia presses on with health care bill despite union protests

Union protesters blocked traffic outside the Nova Scotia legislature this morning as the government pushes through legislation that changes the bargaining structure in the health-care system. The bill introduced by the province’s Liberal government would merge bargaining units. The government wants to cut the number of units to four from 50 by April 1.

Alberta will miss care beds target

Numbers released recently by the province’s health authority show the Conservative government is falling behind in fulfilling its promise to add 5,000 continuing-care beds over five years to house a growing population of ailing seniors and the disabled. As it has quietly shuttered nursing-home wards and struggled to open more supportive-living facilities, Alberta Health Services now finds itself 1,651 spaces short of its goal.

Camsell reconstruction to start soon, developer says

Reconstruction of the derelict Camsell Hospital in Edmonton, vacant and abandoned for more than a decade, into condo units will start in the spring, a developer promises.

Hep C outbreak prompts warning about multi-use vials

Vials of injectable medication meant for more than one patient pose an infection risk and should no longer be used, says a leading Ontario infection control expert. Eleven patients contracted Hepatitis C during separate outbreaks at three Toronto colonoscopy clinics between 2011 and 2013, the Toronto Star reports.

Tories breached policies on sole source floor contracts: CBC

Alberta’s auditor general has found the government of former premier Alison Redford breached its own policies when it handed two flood-related, sole-source contracts to Navigator Ltd., a consulting firm with close ties to Redford, current Premier Jim Prentice, and the provincial Progressive Conservative Party.

Ebola the result of bio terrorism experiments?

Ebola is the result of bio-terrorism experiments gone wrong, according to a professor at Delaware State University. In an article published in a major Liberian newspaper, The Daily Observer, the Liberian-born Cyril Broderick claims the epidemic is the result of work done by the U.S. Department of Defence, among others.

Leak forces out 138 residents of seniors’ condo

Residents of a seniors’ condominium in southern Alberta remain out of their homes after a water main break. Grandview Village in Lethbridge was evacuated on Sunday, after the break caused extensive flooding.

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

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