Newborn circumcision popular in Alberta
The national average newborn circumcision rate is 32 per cent, but in Alberta it's 44 per cent, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The procedure, which costs about $200, is not covered by Alberta Health and only done by a handful of doctors in Calgary. The Pediatric Society of Canada says it is medically unnecessary.
Calgary pediatric Dr. Peter Neiman agrees, but he says it is very common.
"In my own clinic I see about one in three boys having circumcision," he said. "There is no medical reason to do a circumcision … there may be a little bit of an exception for children who are prone to urinary tract infections."
Dr. Pierre Crouse is a city physician who performs circumcisions. He advertises in parents' magazines and even on a city bus.
"I think people should know about their options and where it can be done safely," he said.
New father Shawn Hauck, a patient of Dr. Crouse, said he never questioned getting his son Dexter circumcised.
"It's what I had. So you kind of do what you know. And when you look at the STDs and the urinary tract infections, it was just a no brainer," he said.