News Stories of Interest, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016

It’s Republic Day in Albania. Without a word of a lie it’s also German Apples Day in, of course, Germany. On this day in 1815, John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, was born in Glasgow, Scotland.

Conservatives turned down $1.4 million in drug treatment money from Ottawa

At a time when fentanyl was killing an average of one person a day in Alberta, the former PC government rejected a $1.4 million grant from the federal government that would have helped fund drug treatment programs. The reason: provincial spending that would have had to go up with it at a time the PCs wanted cuts.

AHE closes doors to emergency patients

Alberta Health Services sent a memo to all its addiction and mental health care staff and physicians advising that Alberta Hospital Edmonton will stop admitting all “direct presentation” patients as of Feb. 8. AHS says AHE isn’t equipped to cope with patients who show up with medical conditions such as concussions or strokes or heart palpitations or fentanyl poisoning. Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons explains why this is a really bad idea.

Rabies on the rise in Canada

Canada’s unabated war against rabies has been kicked into high gear following a series of simultaneous outbreaks of the “uniformly fatal” brain disease.

Family seeks wheelchair that disappeared at Edmonton hospital

A young woman remains optimistic her $4,000 customized wheelchair will be found after it went missing from her unit hallway at the University of Alberta Hospital. The wheelchair disappeared from a hallway on Jan. 7.

Cost cutting at Montreal hospital costs ER patient his life

An emergency-room patient died after being denied surgery that might have saved his life at St. Mary’s Hospital – an incident that has provoked a backlash of criticism by 200 health professionals at the facility, the Montreal Gazette reports. The controversy stems from a decision by the hospital’s new administration to stop providing emergency vascular surgery recently deemed “eccentric to the mission” of the hospital that is in the midst of an aggressive cost-cutting campaign.

Ontario elder-care disputes could be moved out of courts

Amid changing demographics and rising dementia rates, the Law Commission of Ontario is proposing a revamp of the province’s laws governing eldercare and substitute decision-making. A call to transfer disputes and decisions around these issues from the court system, which can be costly and complicated, to an existing administrative tribunal is among the 54 draft recommendations in an interim report being released today.

Private fertility clinic coming to Edmonton

A private fertility clinic will soon open in Edmonton, the Edmonton Journal reports, prompting some people for some reason to call for the city’s public clinic to close. The economic model for the clinic is not fully explained by the Journal’s story.

Deal ends threat of Irish nurses’ strike

A planned strike by unionized nurses in Ireland has been avoided, RTE, Ireland’s public broadcaster reports. The issue in negotiations was the need for the employer to provide sufficient assurances that measures agreed before Christmas to address overcrowding and understaffing would actually be implemented.

Non-ambulance contractors to free ambulances for emergencies: AHS

Alberta Health Services will use contracted non-ambulance transport services to free up ambulances in Central Alberta to respond to emergencies, AHS says in a news release.

Calgary paramedic was ‘wise, sage advisor’

Calgary paramedic Dave Sartorelli, who died in 2014, was a mentor and a modest guy, this Calgary Herald story says. It’s not clear why this obituary is being publishes so long after his death.

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