01/16/2013 08:38 EST | Updated 03/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Cochrane, Airdrie Nursing Cuts: Alberta Health Minister, Fred Horne, Disputes Wildrose's Claim Of Nurse Layoffs

FILE - In this file photo taken Oct. 17, 2012, Bill Staples, a Mississippi Department of Health employee, is given an intradermal shot of flu vaccine by registered nurse Rosemary Jones, also with the health department, in Jackson, Miss. A survey by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found that in 2011, more than 400 U.S. hospitals required flu vaccinations for their employees and 29 hospitals fired employees that were not vaccinated against the virus. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
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.