News Stories of Interest, Friday, July 29, 2016

It’s International Tiger Day. Monday will be Heritage Day in Alberta.

Alberta Zika cases jump to 15

Alberta Health says there have been 15 cases of the Zika virus in the province this year, a jump of 12 cases from the three infections reported in February 2016. Alberta Health said all 15 cases were acquired during travel and that the province’s mosquitoes don’t transmit the virus. Zika is now likely to begin to spread in the U.S., Florida health officials say.

Alberta mental health program sees high demand

Growing demand for mental health services has led to long waiting times for therapy, leading one patient to mount an impromptu protest outside a Calgary hospital.

Yiu defends AHS spending on salaries

In a letter to the editor of the Edmonton Sun, Alberta Health Services CEO Dr. Verna Yiu writes that “at AHS, we compensate our employees in a fair, competitive and fiscally responsible manner so we can continue to attract well-qualified clinical and administrative health care staff across all parts of the organization. This is vital given the demands on the health system today.” Dr. Yiu was responding to a typical column by Graham Hicks, who wrote on July 21 about what he called “the fat cats with high-paying, secure, low-risk jobs in the public and quasi-public sector.” Hicks means nurses, civil servants, teachers and the like.

Movie review: Anti-vaxxer’s movie full of the usual misinformation

A former doctor (former since being found guilty of professional misconduct) who perpetrated a 1998 hoax that linked the MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccine to autism has risen from career death to make “a dangerous movie that makes all the same claims, this time backed by free-floating, meaningless statistics and heartstring-tugging shots of worried parents and crying children.”

Does research back medical pot claims?

There’s no shortage of anecdotal evidence from individuals who claim cannabis lessens their pain, combats the symptoms of chemotherapy or reduces their anxiety, the Globe and Mail writes. “But there are no large high-quality scientific studies to back any of those statements.”

Stoney Nakoda drug problem sensationalized: leader

A leader of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation west of Calgary says reports of rampant drug abuse and deaths on the reserve are inaccurate and sensationalized.

NOTE: This will be the last daily news update for a few weeks as I accommodate both the need to prepare stories for the next edition of NewsBulletin and take a short vacation to visit my daughter abroad. This is what we used to call in the newspaper business “the dog days of summer,” so the number of health care and labour relations stories likely to be of interest to UNA members and staff will be lower than normal. As always, if a particularly significant story comes along, my colleague Dave Cournoyer or I will post it on the FirstClass News Conference. The Daily News Summary will resume in September. — David Climenhaga

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