Alberta looks to trim medical services not required by the Canada Health Act

EDMONTON — Alberta’s cost-cutting Tory government is taking a hard look at the Canada Health Act to decide what medical procedures can be dropped from coverage in the province.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s cost-cutting Tory government is taking a hard look at the Canada Health Act to decide what medical procedures can be dropped from coverage in the province.

Health Minister Ron Liepert says at least 30 services costing $130 million have already been identified for possible elimination, but he refuses to provide specifics.

Liepert says he doesn’t want the media spreading fear among Albertans over what treatments they might have to pay out of their own pockets in the future.

The minister is also setting up an expert panel that will help decide what medical treatments need to be funded in Alberta in the future without violating the Canada Health Act.

Liepert says the problem with act is that it does not clearly define what treatments are required and instead uses terms like “medically necessary.”

He says the provinces should be allowed to determine what medical services are funded and what treatments can be shifted to private insurance coverage.