No new health cards for Albertans
The Alberta government will not be updating the province’s antiquated health cards, blaming the current economic climate.
“Following the worst recession in a generation, our government has prioritized the protection of front-line care, carefully finding savings wherever possible,” said Brent Wittmeier, press secretary with Alberta Health. “We are not considering an overhaul of our health-care card system at this time.”
Alberta is the only province to issue health cards on paper cardstock, making them prone to damage and decay over time.
The government even recommends people laminate or put their cards in a protective sleeve.
The rest of the country uses plastic cards, some even using similar security technologies that are found in Alberta driver’s licences.
A 2015 Auditor General’s report warned that these cards pose a fraud risk, as they don’t even have expiry dates.
I received my Alberta health card. You can bend it. It has no photo. I think I have some ideas as to how Alberta can reduce health expenditures through frauds reduction 🧐 ( it was also addressed to Mrs. Tedds 🤨 because it’s 2018)
— Lindsay Tedds 🥑🍸🇨🇦🇬🇧 (@LindsayTedds) April 10, 2018
The NDP government recognized the need for new cards but blamed previous governments for not moving forward on the file.
“Despite record royalty revenues, however, previous governments repeatedly failed to invest in health-care information management and card technology,” said Wittmeier.