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New Leduc-area group pushes health care agenda

Friends of Medicare

Leduc-Beaumont Residents Launch New Friends of Medicare Chapter

Last month, residents from Leduc, Beaumont, and surrounding communities who are concerned about their public health care, came together to launch a new Friends of Medicare chapter. At their founding meeting in February, members elected an inaugural chapter board, including new Chapter Chair, Cam Heenan.

“Following a successful founding meeting, I was proud to have been elected Chair of our new Leduc-Beaumont chapter of Friends of Medicare,” said Cam Heenan. “Along with the rest of our new volunteer chapter board, we are eager to get to work to do our part in protecting and strengthening our public health care system for the benefit of everyone in our communities.”

“The founding of the Leduc-Beaumont chapter is an exciting next step in expanding the work Friends of Medicare has been doing in Alberta since 1979,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “We are looking forward to the important work we can do together in the months and years ahead.”

Leduc-Beaumont joins communities like Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Calgary with Friends of Medicare chapters, working hard to advocate for public health care. Our chapters across the province do invaluable work in addressing the issues impacting health care at the grassroots level.

“I’ve worked in EMS for nearly 20 years, so I have seen firsthand the impact that cuts and systematic privatization have had on our public health care system, the patients who rely on it, and the frontline health care workers who keep it going,” said Heenan. “Right now, we’re hearing that our doctors are considering leaving, we have no form of walk-in clinic or urgent care centre in my home town of Beaumont, and the Leduc Hub emergency shelter is facing closure. Paired with the cancellation of the long-promised South Edmonton hospital, people in our communities are extremely concerned about their diminishing access to care services.”

“Between repeated facility closures, chronic short-staffing, and a rampant agenda of austerity and privatization being proliferated by Alberta’s provincial government, we are hearing from people all over this province who are struggling to access their health care,” says Gallaway. “Alberta is decades behind on needed infrastructure, and the ongoing short staffing crisis continues to jeopardize care access. Patients, health care workers, and their loved ones are fed up, and ready to stand up for the public health care they need and deserve. There’s never been a more necessary time for this chapter to take form and take action.” 

Friends of Medicare encourages our members and supporters in the Leduc-Beaumont region to reach out to get involved in their new chapter to join the fight to protect and strengthen public health care in your community. Albertans elsewhere in the province can find their local chapter on our website.

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