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
provincial health agency

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

Continuing Care
provincial health agency

Icon of a hospital

Acute Care
provincial health agency

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

Mental Health and Addiction
provincial health agency

Get involved

We’re creating regional advisory councils and an Indigenous Advisory Council, which will provide a way for you to share your perspectives on how to improve health care in your community.

Council members will explore potential solutions to local challenges and look for opportunities to better support local decision-making.

Learn more and apply now

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 provincial health agency within the refocused health care system is to coordinate primary health care services and provide transparent provincial oversight.

The Primary Care agency 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 agency'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 health care 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 provincial health agency 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 agency.

The Continuing Care provincial health agency 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 agency 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.

  • The Continuing Care Act

    • The Continuing Care Act, regulations and standards are now in effect. 
    • Together, they create a person-centred system that modernizes Alberta’s approach in regulating continuing care homes, home and community care, and supportive living accommodations.
    • The legislative framework also supports the overall transformation of the province’s continuing care system and paves the way for the new continuing care organization in Alberta.
    • To learn more visit Continuing Care Act legislation and standards and Continuing care in Alberta.

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 provincial health agency 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 provincial health agency 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 revisioning allows for opportunities to tackle current issues and create system enhancements in the delivery of services for Albertans, 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 out-patient settings for children and adults.

Recovery Alberta

Recovery Alberta logo

On April 2, we announced the new Mental Health and Addiction provincial health agency – Recovery Alberta.

Recovery Alberta will deliver the mental health and addiction services currently delivered by Alberta Health Services (AHS) and will focus on:

  • 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 well-being and sustain recovery
  • improving mental health and addiction care for Albertans by further expanding access to treatment and recovery supports across Alberta

Recovery Alberta should be fully operational by summer 2024, with an approximate annual budget of $1.13 billion. This funding currently supports the delivery of mental health and addiction services through AHS. Recovery Alberta will report to the Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction.

Visit Shape the way to hear Minister Dan Williams answer questions about Recovery Alberta.

Canadian Centre of Recovery Excellence (CoRE)

Canadian Centre of Recovery Excellence logo

We are also establishing the Canadian Centre of Recovery Excellence (CoRE) to improve mental health and addiction services in the province and develop best practices for use in Alberta and across the country.

CoRE will support the development of this comprehensive system of care by creating connections with experts around the world, conducting research and evaluating Alberta government services.

We committed $5 million through Budget 2024 to support the establishment of CoRE. It is anticipated that CoRE will be operational by summer 2024.

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

Health care for Indigenous communities

As a First Nations, Métis or Inuit person, you often face many barriers accessing 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 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 provincial health agencies on local priorities and planning, and propose initiatives and innovative solutions for their region.

We're committed to improving access to timely and appropriate health care services. We have taken actions under the MAPS initiative, which include investments and initiatives designed and delivered by Indigenous communities. We have also established an Indigenous Patient Complaints Investigator and an Indigenous Health Division within Alberta Health.

Learn more about what is being done to improve Indigenous health care and programs to support Indigenous health care needs.

Rural health care

People living in rural and remote areas need unique solutions to challenges such as access to primary care, specialists and specialized services.

We will listen to Albertans in their communities and work together with municipalities, doctors, nurses and allied health providers to identify strategies and develop solutions to these challenges.

Recently, Alberta Health created a new branch dedicated to prioritizing the health care needs of rural and remote communities. We will continue to talk about our plans and engage with Albertans as we pave the path forward to improve health care delivery in a refocused health system.

You deserve access to the right care when and where you need it.