Thursday, September 07, 2006


Someone got the ball rolling.

CALGARY (CP) - Alberta's ban on buying private health insurance for medically necessary procedures is being challenged by a constitutional watchdog group.

The privately funded Canadian Constitution Foundation said Wednesday it is funding a class-action lawsuit and a statement of claim will be filed in Calgary on Friday.

Calgary accountant Bill Murray, who was forced to pay for two state-of-the-art hip replacements, is acting as plaintiff.

The group says Murray was told by health officials that he was too old at 57 to enjoy the full benefits of the so-called Birmingham hip, so he would have to settle for a cheaper alternative.

The lawsuit will argue that Murray and other Albertans have a charter right to buy private insurance that could be used for things such as high-quality hip replacements.

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