Two health care rallies are planned in Edmonton

"Our Tax Dollars - Our Health Centre ... Open the Doors, Turn On All the Lights!'

Edmonton (17 Nov. 2010) - Two health care rallies are scheduled this week in Edmonton.

Albertans are being urged to join seniors' organizations on the steps of the legislature at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Nov. 17) for a Friends of Medicare rally against the provincial government's proposed new Alberta Health Act.

The theme of the rally – The government isn't listening to seniors! – will focus on concerns regarding the provincial government's Bill 17, which is scheduled to be tabled for debate in the legislature Nov. 17.

Following the protest, rally participants are invited to watch the debate from the gallery, which is expected to commence around 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

On Thursday (Nov. 18) a second rally will take place to pressure the province to fully open the publicly-funded East Edmonton Health Centre (EEHC) to reduce wait times at the Royal Alexandra Hospital emergency room.

Brian Mason, MLA for Edmonton Highlands-Norwood and Leader of Alberta's NDP opposition, is standing up with the community in east Edmonton to demand that the Stelmach government provide vital medical services promised over two years ago.

The rally will take place from 12:20 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday at the EEHC, 7920-112 Ave. N.W., in Edmonton.

The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE) is supporting both rallies and urging members to attend.

The EEHC was built to replace the former Eastwood Primary Health Care Centre. The project was announced by the Alberta government in 2007 and was originally scheduled to be operating by spring 2009. When it finally opened in June 2010, the urgent care and family medicine units remained closed.

The Stelmach government has refused to provide the $9 million per year in funding to get the facilities operating. Meanwhile, emergency rooms at the Royal Alexandra Hospital are backed up enormously, HSAA reports.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

More information:
• Joel French: 780-893-9379, joel.french@assembly.ab.ca

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