Defending Public Health and Seniors' Care

Health Care Unions Speak Out

The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) has been carrying out its Health Matters campaign for over a year. The HSAA campaign highlights the experience and knowledge of its members who along with other public sector workers are the front line of defending public health care and other social programs and people's right to have such programs in a modern society. Health sciences members work in the labs, in diagnostic imaging, in emergency medicine, in therapy, in addictions and many other professions.

HSAA also carried out a campaign to increase the number of ambulances and paramedics in 2018 which resulted in increased funding for Emergency Medical Services (EMS). At that time, HSAA pointed out that while the number of EMS calls had increased by nearly 20 per cent since 2010, the number of paramedics was up by only 3.4 per cent.

"As experts, we know health-care cuts will cause immense damage. The risk to health care -- and to Albertans -- is too great for us to stay silent. As your trusted health-care experts, we felt we had to speak out. Alberta needs to invest in a health-care system that's already stretched, not cut it," HSAA says.

"Alberta needs to stop the increased privatization of care so that every dollar is spent on patients, not diverted to boost profits for large corporations. No one needing health care should have to worry about whether or not they can afford care."

HSAA urges everyone to make health care an election issue.

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees issued a press release on March 27, responding to the NDP government's announcement that it would create 2,000 long-term care beds throughout the province if elected.

"While more long-term care beds are sorely needed in Alberta, they can't continue to be funded by taxpayer dollars and delivered by private, for-profit providers more focused on revenues than providing quality care," said AUPE Vice-President Susan Slade.

"The NDP knows public long-term care spaces provide the best care possible to seniors and residents. That's why in its 2015 election platform, it promised to create 2,000 public long-term care beds over four years. "The party also called out the former PC government for its ‘costly experiments in privatization' and called for funds to be redirected to publicly delivered services in that same platform.

"Unfortunately, the private long-term care experiments have continued since 2015 and today we're seeing ‘public' completely removed from the NDP's 2,000 long-term care beds promise," said Slade. AUPE called on all political parties to support and invest in publicly funded and delivered health care.

The demands of the health care workers are just. Increase Funding for Health, Seniors' Care and Social Programs!

This article was published in

Volume 49 Number 13 - April 13, 2019

Article Link:
Health Care Unions Speak Out


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