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Stop user-pay emergency room from opening, BC Health Coalition tells government

November 28, 2006
Health minister hesitates while private surgical clinic moves to expand profit-making enterprise The BC Health Coalition is calling on the provincial government to immediately stop plans by the private, for-profit False Creek Surgical Centre to open Canadas first user-pay emergency room in Vancouver on Monday. -The False Creek Surgical Centres latest entrepreneurial venture ... an emergency room ...appears to involve charging fees for medically-necessary treatments and procedures," says health coalition co-chair Joyce Jones.

Lack of Staff Number One Issue in HSAA Survey

November 28, 2006
Ottawa (November 27, 2006) -- A recent survey of 12,000 members of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE) identifies workload and lack of staff as the number one issue. HSAA is a union that represents more than 14,000 professional, technical, support and ambulance workers in Alberta's health care system. "We asked our members what it would take to create a quality work environment. Most say the hiring of more staff to reduce workload is what's needed," said HSAA president Elisabeth Ballermann.

HSA to be represented at 50th anniversary B.C. Federation of Labour convention

November 24, 2006
HSA will be represented by 38 delegates to the 50th annual convention of the B.C. Federation of Labour November 27 to December 1. This year's theme: "A proud history. A strong future." celebrates the B.C. Federation's 50th Anniversary. Highlights will include discussion of the future of BC's resource communities, resolutions regarding the growing exploitation of temporary international workers, and reports on the future of organizing and how we grow our movement.

VIHA to reimburse dietitians professional association fees

November 17, 2006
HSA and the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) have reached an agreement that will see HSA dietitians reimbursed an estimated $100,000 for membership fees paid to Dietitians of Canada since 2003/04. The settlement is a result of a grievance launched in 2004, when the union pursued member concerns that the employer required membership in good standing in the professional association as a condition of employment, and that individuals must be personally responsible for paying the $150 to $450 annual base membership fee.

BC Fed celebrates 50 years

November 10, 2006
The Vancouver Folk Music Festival Sciety presents Strike Up The Band, a celebration of the labour movement, November 30 at the Orpheum. The event is a musical celebration in dance and song of the labour movement and its struggles, and showcases a range of B.C. talent. Emcee'd by Joe Keithley, the evening will feature appearances by Jim Byrnes, Allison Russell, Linda Tillery, the Universal Gospel Choir, Tons of Fun University, and the Union All Star Band.

Stop Health Care Privatization: Town Hall Meeting - November 16

November 8, 2006
Speakers from the Council of Canadians and BC Health Coalition will explore issues of: - upgrading TWO hospitals- curtailing regionalization- keeping hospitals public, not private- what a real "conversation on health" entails Date:  Thursday, November 16Time:  7:00 p.m.Place:  Florence Filberg Centre - Rotary Room          411 Anderton Avenue, Courtenay Come and share your views.  FREE ADMISSION; EVERYONE WELCOME.

Flu shot program: Guidelines for HSA members

November 8, 2006
Once again, the Provincial Health Officer has issued a copy of the Facility Influenza Immunization Policy to all health employers in BC. The policy states: As a critical component of patient care, all facilities are required to adopt a written policy advocating staff influenza immunization. Staff who choose not to be immunized must be made aware that they can be excluded from work in the event of an influenza outbreak within their facility.

CONVERSATION ON HEALTH: Aging population not a demographic time bomb

November 7, 2006
Contrary to the Chicken Little sky-is-falling scenario painted by Finance Minister Carole Taylor, an economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says in a study published today that British Columbia's health care system is sustainable. The study finds that population aging is only a small contributor to pressures on the health care budget, and that the system can be maintained and enhanced without breaking the bank.

Push to privatize behind hospital choice, says Health Coalition

November 7, 2006
The push to locate a new hospital between Courtenay and Campbell River is an example of the privatization of health care, warns one of the guest speakers on the panel lined up for a November 16 Town Hall meeting at the Florence Filberg Centre.

Segregation of health care providers from public forums undermines -health conversation," say unions

November 6, 2006
The provincial government should reverse its plan to exclude health care providers from the 16 regional public forums that are the centerpiece of the $10-million -Conversation on Health." Health union leaders told Health Minister George Abbott today that the governments plan to declare more than 100,000 British Columbians who are health care providers as ineligible to participate in the public meetings will deepen public skepticism of the consultation process.