Focus on primary care networks and family care clinics
Premier Alison Redford is devoting her summer to improving health care services for communities.
Premier Alison Redford says she and MLAs will focus this summer on talking to constituents about improving access to Alberta health care.
“It’s time to change the conversation from what the health system needs, to what people need, and Albertans tell us they need access,” said Redford.
“We need to ensure that all Albertans have a home in the health care system where people know them and their health needs, can help them manage their health, and can help them get more specialized care if it’s needed.”
MLAs will talk with local health care providers and various Alberta communities to explore how every Albertan might have access to a health care team tailored to local health needs and resources, according to Redford.
Their aim is to facilitate access to specialized services from nurses or nurse practitioners, mental health workers, dieticians and pharmacists in addition to doctors.
“We need to match the right approach with people’s health needs, close to where they live, taking full advantage of the resources that exist and supplementing those as required,” said Minister of Health Fred Horne. “This is about making the health system fit people, instead of fitting people into the system. There is no cookie-cutter approach that will work for all communities in Alberta.”
Alberta has two team-based approaches to community health care:
Primary Care Networks – In operation since 2003, these are physician-led multi-disciplinary teams. Alberta has 40 networks with almost 2,500 doctors and about 600 full-time-equivalent professionals in other disciplines.
Family Care Clinics – A new approach introduced earlier this year, these provide direct access to a variety of health professionals on a team, and to other community and support services. Three such clinics are being piloted, one each in Calgary, Edmonton and Slave Lake.
Both approaches may offer extended hours as an alternative to going to emergency.
MLAs will report their findings to Horne, who will share the results with a committee of health care stakeholders.
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Category: Alberta, Health