Primary care is the first point of contact a person has with the health system – the point where people receive care for most of their everyday health needs. Primary care is typically provided by family physicians, and by nurses, dietitians, mental health professionals, pharmacists, therapists, and others.
Primary care includes the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of various health conditions. It also includes referrals to specialists and diagnostic services such as laboratory tests or X-rays.
Both family doctors and Alberta Health Services routinely provide primary care services. Family physicians are often the first place patients seek appointments for their primary care needs. And Alberta Health Services provides a range of important services such as laboratory and X-ray services, home care, immunization programs, hospital care, and long-term care.