Olds supports bid to set up primary care network

Olds town council is throwing its support by a local initiative to establish a primary care network.

Olds town council is throwing its support by a local initiative to establish a primary care network.

Mayor Judy Dahl said local doctors have been active in campaigning for a primary care network (PCN).

“They were looking just initially for the whole concept of support from town council, which is recently necessary when you’re moving forward on such an initiative.”

In a PCN, a group of family doctors and Alberta Health Services co-ordinate health services for patients.

It doesn’t necessarily require a specific building, but sometimes can be provided through an existing clinic or a number of clinics.

The PCN recently sent a letter to Health Minister Fred Horne to find out whether its proposal was near approval. It also asked the town to show its support.

In the letter, the town states it has been collaborating closely with local doctors to provide the highest standard of care for patients in Olds, Sundre and surrounding communities.

“The Peaks to Prairies PCN will be a great benefit to the Towns, health-care providers and patients,” says the letter.

“All the groundwork has been done and numerous hours of meetings and hard work has gone into the development of the business plan.”

Dahl said it is important to show the province the local support for initiatives like the PCN.

For example, in Sylvan Lake local support is being marshalled for an urgent care centre.

There are already about 40 primary care networks in Alberta, including Red Deer, employing about 2,500 doctors.

“I think it is the way of the future,” said Dahl.

Peaks to Prairies is among a number of PCNs under development in the province.

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