November 18, 2013

Anglin urges assembly to review out-of-country care after patients left out in the cold by broken system

EDMONTON, AB (November 18, 2013): Today, Wildrose MLA Joe Anglin is putting forward Motion 515 to review decisions made by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan and the Out-of-Country Health Services Committee (OOCHSC) to ensure patients who require treatment are not left out in the cold. The OOHSC, “considers applications funding of insured medical, oral surgical and/or hospital services that are not available in Canada.” 

However, patients who are suffering or need life saving surgery are often denied funding, despite following the rules and regulations. Christina Wiese from Bentley, Alberta required a surgical procedure called sacroiliac joint fixation surgery.  After the help of her family doctor, several specialists and referrals from orthopedic surgeons, Wiese was not able to find a surgeon in Alberta or Canada to perform the surgery.  In October 2011, she travelled to Gainesville, Georgia to have the surgery performed and has been denied funding requests by the OOHSC repeatedly. “This government has a responsibility to ensure Albertans receive the care that they need. Ms. Wiese has done everything by the book, but the OOHSC has left her suffering for years and now is asking for her to pick up the tab, “Anglin said. “Albertans who are in need of care don’t need more bureaucracy, paper work and denial - they need access to care.  I hope all MLAs will hear Ms. Wiese’s case and the countless others and urge the government to review this broken system.” Wiese said there have been at least two other Alberta women who applied through the OOHSC for funding for the same surgery and were approved. “I have done everything I am supposed to do in the system, and I have come up against a brick wall everywhere I turn. Every department seems to ‘pass the buck’ or say they are not able to help me,” Wiese said. “I hope the government will take action to ensure experiences like my own do not have to happen again for future patients.”



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