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24 Alberta communities get access to Family Care Clinic

Aug. 15, 2013 — Twenty four communities in Alberta were the most recent beneficiaries of the Alberta government’s latest roll out of its Family Care Clinics (FCCs) initiative — which provides Albertans better access to primary health care — part of the province’s Building Alberta Plan.


August 15, 2013
By Massage Therapy Canada staff

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“Our government made a commitment to Albertans that we would
increase access to primary health care, and we are doing just that,”
said Alberta Premier Alison Redford in a statement.

“We are
working with physicians and other health care providers on how primary
care evolves in the future, and part of that work is moving forward with
Family Care Clinics.”

The 24 communities chosen in this second
wave for new FCCs were identified as having the greatest need for
improved access to primary health care, and are considered to be ready
and have the capacity to implement an FCC, according to the Ministry of
Health.

The first wave saw three pilot FCCs established, one
each in Calgary, Edmonton and Slave Lake. Other communities will be
considered for future waves of FCCs, the government said.

Government
is working with leaders and health providers in the 24 communities to
develop plans for each FCC. The stand-alone clinics will be staffed with
a team of health providers brought together to meet the unique health
and social needs of the community they serve.

FCCs provide
non-emergency primary health care services, such as diagnosis and
treatment of illness, screening, immunization, health promotion, chronic
disease prevention and management, and links to other health and
community agencies. Each FCC is expected to provide extended hours of
service, same-day appointments and access to the most appropriate member
of the care team, the ministry said.

The Alberta government has budgeted $50 million this year to support the development of FCCs.

“We
are excited about the opportunity as a not-for profit organization to
apply to become a Family Care Clinic,” said Vera Caine, board chair of
the Boyle McCauley Health Centre. “We see this as a means of enhancing
our model of care and expanding primary health care services for our
complex, high needs population.”

Family Care Clinics will
complement the services provided by 40 Primary Care Networks (PCN) in
the province. PCNs are networks of privately owned physician offices
that receive supplementary funding to hire other health professionals to
help deliver enhanced services to their patients.

“When
physicians and government achieve proper ‘primary care reform’ in
Alberta, this will be the principal driver toward gaining what is needed
for a safe, efficient, timely and quality health care delivery system
for Albertans,” said Dr. Michael Giuffre, president, Alberta Medical
Association.

“I look forward to exploring how FCCs and PCNs will complement each other in Alberta’s primary care neighborhood,” he added.

For more information on the FCC process, visit www.health.alberta.ca.


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