Alberta budget to include $243M over 3 years for new primary care initiatives

Click to play video: 'Alberta government announces $2-billion investment in health care in budget'
Alberta government announces $2-billion investment in health care in budget
WATCH: The UCP government has announced plans to spend $2 billion improving health care in Alberta. It’s a key part of the provincial budget, which will be tabled in a week. Craig Momney has details and reaction from critics who say it's a cover-up after years of cuts. – Feb 21, 2023

The Alberta government announced Tuesday it will spend an extra $243 million over three years into primary health care to help reduce bottlenecks for those trying to see a family doctor.

Health Minster Jason Copping says the money will be part of next week’s provincial budget and include $40 million previously committed in a new agreement with the Alberta Medical Association.

The bulk of the money — $125 million — is to be used to implement recommendations currently being studied by advisory panels, such as the Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System (MAPS) panel, on how best to improve the system.

The review includes primary care networks, which incorporate a team-based care model with doctors, nurses and other health professionals working together.

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The province said in addition, $12 million will go to support IT systems designed to improve the continuity of care across the province.

Three advisory panels were established through MAPS in fall 2022 to identify primary health care improvements in the short term and over the next 10 years.

A final report with a recommended strategy to modernize the primary health-care system will be finalized in this spring, the province said Tuesday.

The Opposition New Democrats are promising similar one-stop locations of health and wellness providers, and said they would determine the best way to incorporate primary care networks into that model if they win the next election.

The next election is set for May 29.

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