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Friends of Medicare to host community conversation in Red Deer

Friends of Medicare will hold a community conversation on “protecting public health care” in Red Deer next month.
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Friends of Medicare will hold a community conversation about health care at the Holiday Inn Express in North Red Deer at 6 p.m. on Sept. 8. (Advocate file photo)

Friends of Medicare will hold a community conversation on “protecting public health care” in Red Deer next month.

The event, which aims to get Central Albertans involved in supporting public health care, will be held at the Holiday Inn Express in North Red Deer at 6 p.m. on Sept. 8.

“This fall, Friends of Medicare is going all over the province to hear from Albertans about their concerns within their community,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of the nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition.

Holding a community conversation in Red Deer is “a priority” for Friends of Medicare, Gallaway noted.

“Red Deer is an example of all of the issues we’re facing,” he said.

“Whether it’s the closures – like Rimbey and Sundre with obstetrics and I know we’re been hearing from people in Ponoka about (the recent) ER closure – surgeries being deferred, ambulance issues, Red Deer shows the issues in the system.”

The community conversation will likely focus on these points, as well as the status of the Red Deer Regional Hospital, which had recently entered its three-year design phase.

“We hear concerns from people in Red Deer and the Red Deer area all of the time,” said Gallaway.

“It’s probably the number one place I hear concerns from in terms of accessing care.”

Friends with Medicare also hopes to reignite a local chapter in Red Deer as well, Gallaway added.

“For a long time we had a very active local chapter there … doing work in the community and raising concerns. With the pandemic and some folks moving, the chapter kind of went dormant,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of members reach out and ask how we can gather and restart that group in the community, so they can talk about health care issues in Red Deer and the area.”

Coming to Red Deer is also important because Red Deer-North MLA Adriana LaGrange serves as the province’s health minister, Gallaway said.

“I’m curious to see if the health minister is going to speak up for Red Deer and actually show some tangible results. We’re going to be calling for that at our meeting and in the years ahead.”

People interested in attending the event are asked to RSVP at www.friendsofmedicare.org/reddeer.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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