Canada
Edmonton docs charged under insurance act

Credits: Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

TONY BLAIS | QMI AGENCY

EDMONTON - Two Edmonton doctors are facing extra billing charges under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act and their cases were in Provincial Court on Friday.

Dr. Steven Helper, 37, and Dr. Jamie Irvine, 40, are each accused of providing insured services to a person and charging and collecting from a person an amount or amounts in addition to the benefits payable by the minister for the said insured services.

According to court documents, the alleged offence for each doctor happened in a time frame of between May 21, 2011, and Jan. 24, 2012.

Defence lawyer Simon Johnson applied to have the Crown separately itemize the one-count allegations into multiple counts, but a judge dismissed that application on Friday.

The case was adjourned to Feb. 25 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

The two doctors did not personally appear in court Friday, practice out of the Hys Centre.

According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta website, Helper graduated from the University of Manitoba medical school in 2001 while Irvine graduated from the same program in 1998. They both specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation and have practices dealing in chronic pain management.

Alberta Health spokesman John Muir would not discuss the charges against the doctors, saying the case was before the courts, and he refused to even say whether the department was aware two doctors had been charged under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act.

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