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Dozens of Family Care Clinics slated for Alberta communities
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Tuesday, June 4, 2013 11:20AM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 4, 2013 6:47PM MDT
The provincial government announced plans Tuesday to establish the next phase of Family Care Clinics (FCC) in a number of different communities throughout the province.
On Tuesday, the province announced a number of communities throughout the province that will soon have an FCC.
The 24 different locations, including major universities throughout the province, will join the three existing FCCs – located in Edmonton, Calgary and Slave Lake.
A provincial government spokesperson told CTV News the University of Alberta and University of Calgary have expressed interest in having an FCC onsite.
FCCs are designed to provide non-emergency primary health care services, such as diagnosis, treatment of illness, screening, immunization, and links to other health and community agencies.
“This is a new approach to healthcare; this is something that is entirely different from what we’re seeing anywhere else in the country,” Premier Alison Redford said Tuesday. “It’s something that’s completely different from what we’ve ever seen in Alberta.”
The province said each facility is meant to have extended hours, same-day appointments and access to specialized care.
The clinics are to be staffed by health providers with specialties specifically focused on the area they serve.
“The result will be a shift; we will stop doing things in the hospital that we can do in the community and that we can do better in a more proactive way,” Health Minister Fred Horne said.
However, critics said the new clinics are essential duplications of Primary Care Networks – 40 of those facilities are already operating.
“Doctors are heavily invested in PCNs, and they’re not going to give it up,” NDP Leader Brian Mason said. “They are building a duplication and that’s a major concern.”
Provincial officials will work with leaders and health providers in the named communities over the coming months to come up with plans for each FCC - $50 million has been budgeted this year to help in their development.
Horne said some of the FCCs will be up and running by the fall of 2013, however, it wasn’t clear how many would be ready – and it appears no deadline has been set for the clinics to be complete.
With files from Serena Mah