EDMONTON - Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne is disputing the Opposition Wildrose party's assertion that nurse practitioners will be cut in Airdrie and Cochrane.

The Wildrose party said in a news release Wednesday that Alberta Health Services contacted Airdrie's Regional Health Centre to advise them of nurse practitioner cuts at the end of March.

Horne says that's not his understanding, saying officials are discussing with staff "the best way to deploy both the physicians and the nurse practitioners."

He also says he's been assured that the discussions won't affect service levels in the two communities.

The Wildrose said the layoffs would equal to about one third of the staff.