Tuesday, 16 July 2013

July 16

The July 15 Cam-burger: DATS going in reverse with new policy

The recent announcement from the Disabled Adult Transportation System about a new policy coming into effect Sept. 1 is a sad reflection in today’s society. DATS is changing their late cancel policy from 30 minutes to two hours.
The reasoning: DATS officials say they can schedule a ride for someone who cancels But two hours prior in advance? C’mon. Let’s be real. And, if you do not cancel within that two-hour time frame you get marked a no-show: even if you cancel, say, 60 minutes before your ride. And if you get three no-shows, you could be suspended from the service.

How lovely. This is an insult to the independence of people with disabilities in Edmonton. So we have questions. Does that mean if you’re working, you have to go to the boss 2 1/2 hours before you’re scheduled to go home to see if you have to work late? Does that mean you can’t go the extra mile and stay when the boss gives you a project they need done at the end of the day? Does this mean if you’re having such a good time at a social outing that you want to stay, you have to make that decision two hours in advance? Where’s the spontaneity here?

And what if you are on one of those 90-minute DATS rides, getting to your destination a half hour before you’re scheduled to return? Does this mean you only have 30 minutes at your destination because you didn’t call in the two-hour window? It is indeed most curious, considering we live in a society where we can get updated information by the second and DATS is going in reverse, asking their clients for an unreasonable amount of notice. Someone within the City of Edmonton needs to apply the brakes to this, sooner than later.


Cam 'n Eggs: A chance to be a leader

 Rona Ambrose starts her new tenure as federal health minister today and Alberta politicians and bureaucrats should be watching her every move. Ambrose has the exciting opportunity of being a wonderful role model. The timing, for Alberta, could’t be be better. To say Alberta’s health system is on shaky ground right now is putting it mildly — and is in need of someone showing them the way. Ambrose can do that.

The Spruce Grove MP was a part of prime minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet shuffle Monday and was appointed health minister. The portfolio is, indeed, a challenging one given the aging population and making sure there are enough resources to go around without taking health services away from anyone. It requires a plan, but it also takes even more compassion. And that’s where the Alberta government and Alberta Health Services failed: the recent home care changes were done, by and large, without any consultation with users. That wasn’t fair.

Because Ambrose is from Alberta, she can have an impact — even though she has federal jurisdiction. Her initiatives  can be shared provincially. This is not to say, by any means, Ambrose is a shoe-in as someone who will go down in history as a champion for government run health care. But she has a chance. And on this Alberta morning, with a very fragile health system, perhaps that is reason enough to be optimistic.
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Why the Disabled Adult Transportation System is in reverse

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