You come first

Refocusing the health care system will put you first in every health care decision and give experts the right space to ensure you are getting the world-class health care you need and deserve.

Where or how you access your health services will not change.

  • For a health emergency, surgery or treatment for a serious illness – patients will still go to a hospital or acute care facility
  • Checkups and help with a general health concern – patients will still go to a family doctor, walk-in clinic or other primary care provider
  • Patients with mental health or addiction concerns will still access usual treatment services and can call AHS helplines or 2-1-1 to get connected with resources
  • Albertans who require assisted living will still get the care they need in continuing care homes or assistance from home care
Icon of a stethoscope

Primary Care

Icon of a hand holding a person standing with a cane.

Continuing Care

Icon of a hospital

Acute Care

Icon of a head with a circular maze as the brain with little lines radiating out of the head.

Mental Health and Addiction

Primary care

Primary health care includes all the services you access to support your day-to-day health needs through every stage of life.

The role of the Primary Care organization within the refocused single provincial health care system is to coordinate primary health care services and provide transparent provincial oversight.

The Primary Care organization will focus on achieving key outcomes including:

  • ensuring every Albertan will be attached to a family physician or a nurse practitioner
  • providing timely access to high quality primary care services, including after-hours no matter where they live
  • supporting an integrated team of health professionals to provide comprehensive primary care, including family physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists, that has appropriate access to patient health information

The organization's work will complement the immediate actions announced through MAPS to stabilize and improve primary health care access across the province and to support family physicians.

The Alberta Continuing Care Association applauds the recent healthcare reforms by the Alberta government and its commitment to advancing healthcare services for seniors.”

Feisal Keshavjee, Chair, Alberta Continuing Care Association

Continuing care

Alberta’s continuing care system provides you with the health, personal care and accommodation services you need to support your independence and quality of life.

The new Continuing Care organization will provide provincial oversight and coordination of continuing care service delivery. This will renew patient focus and create equitable, consistent and timely access to continuing care services. All operators, including Covenant Health, will continue to deliver services under contract with the new organization.

The Continuing Care organization will ensure:

  • equitable, consistent and timely access to continuing care services
  • increased number of beds to meet the needs of Albertans with a focus on equitable access across the province
  • improved team-based cross-sector care leveraging other health and social services

The organization will continue the work to add more continuing care spaces, attract and retain health care workers, advance innovative solutions and support you as you choose where and how you'd like to live.

This is an exciting time for Alberta’s healthcare sector. I am pleased that continuing care remains a significant emphasis for the future and that Indigenous health will be an ongoing part of this conversation.”

Dr. Katherine Chubbs (RN, BN, MHS, CHE, DBA) President and CEO, Good Samaritan Society

Many organizational members of Christian Health Association of Alberta (CHAA) have been proudly managing continuing care services in Alberta for 100 years or more. We’ll continue to work with our system partners, Alberta Health, and Alberta Health Services to pave the way for an enhanced high quality, sustainable care system.”

John Kopeck, Board Chair and Leah Lechelt, Executive Director, Christian Health Association of Alberta

Acute care

Acute health care is there for you during times of an emergency or serious illness or injury, and includes hospitals, urgent care centres, emergency rooms, surgeries, cancer care, laboratory services, clinical operations and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Right now, wait times at emergency departments are too long, surgeries need to be scheduled sooner and EMS response times are not where they need to be. The new Acute Care organization will work directly with service providers, including AHS, Covenant Health and contracted EMS providers, to speed up access to high quality care, reduce wait times and make sure the patient’s journey through the acute care system is efficient and effective across the province.

The new Acute Care organization will ensure:

  • shorter wait-times at emergency departments and for surgeries
  • faster EMS response time
  • higher quality care across the province and enhanced access to care in rural areas

This re-visioning allows for opportunities to tackle current issues and create system enhancements in the delivery of services for Albertan’s including those improvements linked directly to the profession of paramedics."

Len Stelmaschuk, President, Alberta Paramedic Association

These steps from Alberta’s government create an opportunity to build on the strong foundation of existing mental health and addiction services and the exemplary work of our staff and clinicians.”

Kerry Bales, Chief Program Officer, Provincial Addiction & Mental Health and Correctional Health Services, AHS

Mental health and addiction

Mental health and addiction care provides recovery-oriented services that span prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery supports in both in-patient and outpatient settings for children and adults.

The new Mental Health and Addiction organization will focus on:

  • supporting every Albertan struggling with the disease of addiction and/or mental health challenges is supported in their pursuit of recovery
  • ensuring Albertans can access a full continuum of recovery-oriented supports that help them improve their overall wellbeing and sustain recovery
  • improving mental health and addiction care for Albertans by further expanding access to treatment and recovery supports across Alberta

The new Mental Health and Addiction organization will continue delivering the mental health and addiction services currently provided by AHS, with oversight from Alberta’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction. Additionally, a new Centre of Recovery Excellence will be established to help guide improvements to the quality of mental health and addiction service delivery in Alberta.

To see a government this focused on recovery brings so much hope to those working at Oxford House and the individuals in treatment. I’m proud to support the government in their work to strengthen addiction services around the province.”

Earl Thiessen, Executive Director, Oxford House Foundation

Indigenous communities

As a First Nations, Métis or Inuit person, you often face many barriers to access appropriate health care. To support better health outcomes, we are building more meaningful connections to identify improvements that reflect the unique nature of your communities.

As part of the health care refocus, we are creating an Indigenous Advisory Council to ensure your needs and voices are heard. This council will feature representatives from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in Alberta.

The Indigenous Advisory Council will join 12 regional advisory councils to represent the different perspectives of Albertans and Indigenous communities. The councils will advise the new Primary Care, Continuing Care, Acute Care and Mental Health and Addiction organizations on local priorities and planning, and propose initiatives and innovative solutions for their region.

Together with the actions being taken under the MAPS initiative, which includes investments and initiatives designed and delivered by Indigenous communities, creating an Indigenous Patient Complaints Investigator and an Indigenous Health Division within Alberta Health, we're committed to improving access to timely, appropriate health care services.

  • Previous engagement activities and learnings from past and current healthcare systems helped guide and inform the refocusing process.

    2015 to 2023
  • Introduce the health care refocusing plan to Albertans and frontline healthcare workers.

    November 8
  • Appoint a new Alberta Health Services board.

    November 8
  • Collaboration and engagement with health care professionals and organizations.

    November 2023
  • Establish and present transition boards for the Primary Care and Continuing Care organizations.

    December 2023
  • Establish the Indigenous Advisory Council and 12 regional advisory councils.

    Winter 2023/24
  • Establish the Continuing Care organization and the Mental Health and Addiction organization.

    Spring 2024
  • New organizations address ideas and considerations brought forward from health care workers.

    Spring 2024 - ongoing
  • Establish the Primary Care organization and the Acute Care organization.

    Fall 2024

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