Today over 2,500 physicians in Alberta have joined Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in communities across the province. Developed in 2003 under the Primary Care Initiative, PCNs are helping to improve access and better coordinate the care to over 2.8 million Albertans.
In a PCN, a group of family doctors partners with Alberta Health Services to coordinate health services for patients. A PCN can be comprised of one clinic with many physicians, health professionals and support staff, or several physicians and health professionals in several clinics across a geographic area. 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 in the area they serve.
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. Another network may set up a palliative care program with a team of family doctors and health 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.
Participation in a PCN is completely voluntary. Physicians who are interested in starting or joining a PCN can contact their local Alberta Health Services lead and/or the AMA Practice Management Program at 1 (403) 205-2081.
In addition, pediatricians who provide comprehensive primary care services are also eligible to be core providers in a PCN. The following link outlines how pediatricians can become part of one PCN.
PCNs and Pediatricians
Primary Care Networks Work 4 U + Your Patients
This fact sheet will provide information to family physicians about the benefits of joining and/or forming a Primary Care Network.
More information: Developing a PCN