In 2003, Alberta Health (formerly Alberta Health and Wellness), the Alberta Medical Association and Alberta’s Regional Health Authorities (now Alberta Health Services) established the Primary Care Initiative (PCI) to improve access to family physicians and other frontline health care providers in Alberta. The purpose of the PCI is to develop Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and support them in meeting the objectives of the program.
Today, there are 40 PCNs operating throughout Alberta with more in development. More than 2500 family physicians in Alberta are working in PCNs.
In a Primary Care Network (PCN), a group of family doctors and the local geographic area coordinate health services for patients.
A PCN can be comprised of one clinic with many physicians and support staff, or several physicians in several clinics across a health region. Each network has the flexibility to develop programs and to provide services in a way that works locally to meet the specific needs of patients.
For example, depending on the need, a network might decide to strengthen the communication between the physicians and home care nurses by working together in a new way. Or, another network may set up a palliative care program with a team of family doctors and health care professionals to look after patients.
Each network determines how to best meet the needs of patients in the area while working within the provincial PCI framework. In networks, other health care professionals work closely with family doctors to enhance primary health services for patients.
PCNs in Alberta
For family physicians, the option of whether or not to join a PCN is voluntary. Interested physicians can contact their local Alberta Health Services lead and the AMA Practice Management Program.
Other health professionals interested in employment opportunities within PCNs may talk to Alberta Health Services or local PCN about available positions.
Primary Care Networks Work 4 U + Your Patients
This fact sheet will provide health care professionals, such as nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and mental health workers, with information on Primary Care Networks and the important role that multidisciplinary teams play in the delivery of patient care.
Employment Opportunities in Primary Care
Developing a PCN