Primary health care

Primary health care is the first place people go for health care or wellness advice and programs, treatment of a health issue or injury, or to diagnose and manage a health condition.
  • Primary health care includes all of the services in your community that support the day to day health needs of you and your family through every stage of life.
  • Primary health care may include a visit to your family doctor, a consultation from a nurse practitioner, advice from a pharmacist or an appointment with a dietitian or therapist.

Primary health care draws on the expertise of many different providers working together to support people and their families and recognizes that our health, wellness and quality of life are influenced by our economic, cultural and physical situations, and our spiritual beliefs.

Primary health care includes a range of services, including a focus on wellness, and connecting people with social supports that influence their health status, such as housing or parental support. Regardless of where it happens, primary health care is the key to helping Albertans to be healthy.

Primary Health Care Strategy

The Primary Health Care Strategy is an exciting plan to improve primary health care delivery in Alberta. To do this, the Strategy has three strategic directions: enhancing the delivery of care, cultural change, and building blocks for change.

On November 28, 2016, Minister Hoffman spoke at the Accelerating Primary Care Conference hosted by the Primary Care Networks Program Management Office.

Primary Care Networks and Family Care Clinics

Alberta has 2 team-based approaches to community health care:

  1. Primary Care Networks  in operation since 2003, are physician-led multi-disciplinary teams. Alberta has 42 Primary Care Networks with approximately 3,800 physicians and the full-time-equivalent of 1000 other health care providers.
  2. Family Care Clinics  introduced in early 2012, provide direct access to a team of health professionals, and to other community and support services.

Primary health care evaluation

In recognition of the importance of primary health care to the broader health system, and with the introduction of new delivery models to the landscape, Alberta Health commissioned the development of a comprehensive evaluation framework. The Primary Health Care Evaluation Framework is intended to support ongoing assessment and evaluation of primary health care in the province and to contribute to the continuing efforts to strengthen primary health care in Alberta.

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