The Eroding State of Health Care in Alberta


March 12, 2009 :: Heather Smith, RN
Moderated by Diane Poynter

What is happening to health care in Alberta?

A growing number of people and professional medical groups are pointing to deficiencies. A recent study commissioned by the Alberta government, suggests that while bed occupancy in Calgary hospitals is currently 92 percent, it could reach 97 percent in little over a decade unless the province reforms its health system.

Alberta is not immune to the current economic recession. How will it affect health care?

Many changes to health care are afoot. Once again, these seem to be entering by the back door. According to the speaker these include: a hidden plan for the ‘marketization’ of health care, and arrangements that will only result in squeezing more out of nurses.

What do terms like ‘patient-focused funding’ and ‘publicly-funded’ actually mean?

Are Albertans facing the privatization of health care?

Speaker: Heather Smith R.N.

Heather Smith is President of the United Nurses of Alberta, a union representing 26,000 Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses. A Registered Nurse herself, she has been closely involved with the Friends of Medicare since 1983. Heather is a strong advocate for both health care users and front-line workers. Her contribution to health care over the years is well recognized and she has been the recipient of many awards for her work.


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