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Costly fix to send patients to U.S.

 

 

calgary.ctv.ca

POSTED AT 5:58 PM Thursday, February 8

Costs add up very quickly when Alberta mothers and their babies have to be cared for in the U.S.

 

Healthcare in the United States can cost three times or more what it costs here.

Currently four Calgary neonatal patients are getting care at a hospital in Great Falls, Montana.

Hereís a breakdown of what that hospital is charging the Calgary Health Region and how much that treatment costs here.

 

Neonatal intensive care unit bed for child:
Canada         Great Falls
$2500            $8300

 

Bed for each Mother
$800              $2400

Transporting patient:
$10,000
 

 

The leader of the Alberta opposition is shocked and angered at the expense.

Liberal Kevin Taft says heís happy the mothers and their children are getting the care, but he calls the expense utterly wasteful and says it is another example of the price Albertanís pay for a lack of planning by the Conservative government.

A spokesperson for Alberta Health says there may be a perception patients are sent out of country to manage wait times, but he insists that isn't the case.

There are specific criteria considered before a patient goes to another country.

Last year the province paid just under 2 million dollars for Alberta patients meeting those criteria to get medical attention in another country.

The Calgary Health Region also considers the expenses of family members on a compassionate case-by-case basis.

For example, the Region paid for the rental car for Max Hayes to get to Montana so he could be there when his wife gave birth Thursday morning.