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Should certain surgeries in Alberta be publicly funded?

Last Updated Feb 5, 2020 at 12:20 pm MST

(CREDIT: iStock Photo)
Summary

The report noted 10 surgeries the UK considers to have 'limited clinical value'


Despite criticism from the NDP, the Health Minister says coverage for these procedures isn't being removed


CALGARY (660 NEWS) – With healthcare under the microscope in Alberta, a debate is raging on about what should be covered with public dollars.

It comes as Ernst and Young released an audit of Alberta Health Services (AHS) Monday saying there’s a potential for $1.9 billion in savings.

WATCHUCP releases findings of AHS review 

The report also stated 10 procedures the National Health Service in Britain considers to be of “limited clinical value”.

They include surgeries for hernias, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tubal ligation.

The inclusion of the latter along with breast reduction surgery drew the ire of NDP leader Rachel Notley who took to Twitter saying, “Someone remind me again why equal representation of women in politics isn’t a necessary thing?”

Health Minister Tyler Shandro responded to the criticism saying access to these surgeries won’t be removed, adding “it’s not about removing coverage but about improving quality by avoiding inappropriate procedures.”

Shandro added AHS should consider the list in the review and work to develop appropriate guidance and accountability based on its own priorities to ensure the appropriate use of tests and surgeries.

The independent audit called for almost 60 changes to AHS and over 70 ways the service can save money each year.

A final plan is due back to the provincial government in May.