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The CLHIA says more work is needed to bring down high dental fees in Alberta

By The IJ Staff | August 21 2017 09:45AM

Photo: Freepik

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) says the announcement of a fee guide for dental services in Alberta is a step in the right direction, however it adds that more work needs to be done to bring fees down to reasonable levels.

In an announcement issued Aug. 18, Stephen Frank, CLHIA's President and CEO, noted that “dental fees in Alberta are 26 to 32 per cent higher than elsewhere in the country.”

Conflicting priorities

The CLHIA says it has been working with the Government of Alberta since 2015 to implement changes that would have had a more substantial effect than the two to three per cent savings projected by the Alberta Dental Association and College (ADAC). "In addition to a substantial reduction in dental fees, the CLHIA also strongly recommends that, as is already the case in most other provinces, the Dental Association and Dental College be split into separate entities," said Frank. "The protection of the public and protection of dentists are conflicting priorities and should not be under the mandate of a single organization."

Criticized by health minister

"The CLHIA looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Alberta and invites the ADAC to work with the industry to continue to resolve these issues," added Frank.

The dental fee guide, released by ADAC last week, has been criticized by Alberta’s Health Minister for not going far enough to reduce patients’ costs. 

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