Surgery for removal of excess skin not covered: minister

James McLeod jmcleod@thetelegram.com
Published on January 18, 2012
Health Minister Susan Sullivan addresses members of the media Tuesday. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Health Minister Susan Sullivan said Tuesday the province’s regulations on surgery to reduce excess skin are in line with the rest of the country.

Sullivan was responding to criticism that MCP does not cover “cosmetic” surgery to remove excess skin for people who have undergone radical weight loss.

However, Sullivan said she’s open to changing her mind in the future.

“The policy that we have in place right now is being applied consistently across the board,” she said.

“I would like to have a broader discussion with my colleagues, when we have (an) opportunity, and I propose to be able to do that in the very near future. We’ll sit down and have a discussion about the policy itself.”

Her comments didn’t do much to impress NDP Leader Lorraine Michael, who talked about one case in particular, of a person who suffers repeated infections due to his excess skin.

“His doctor, who’s been his doctor for years, has indicated that he has recurring infections,” Michael said. “Isn’t having recurring infections adequate for saying that it’s medically required?”

She added that it shouldn’t matter if other provinces don’t cover the surgery.

“Let’s be leaders in the field on this one. Let’s move ahead and show what a real humane policy would be.”

Liberal MHA Andrew Parsons also took a shot at Sullivan.

“We are at a loss to understand as to where the minister of health and community Services is coming from,” he said.

“We have spoken to the gentleman, Mr. Kevin Carter, who told us that he was referred to a surgeon and that surgeon has recommended that he receive the surgery. The problem is that surgery is not available in the province.

“The question now is will this government provide the resources to ensure that Mr. Carter receives the surgery he requires outside of this province.”

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

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