Primary Care in Fort McMurray

What is Primary Care?

Primary Care is the first point of contact people have with the health system. It begins with your family physician, but it may also involve a team of other healthcare professionals. It includes screening for early detection of disease, immunizations, care for common illnesses, and management of ongoing health problems. Primary Care is different from Acute Care - the urgent care that is provided at a hospital - which is provided by Alberta Health Services.

Primary Care begins with your family physician, the leader of your care team.

Depending on your unique care needs and your goals, you might also work with some of the allied health professionals at the PCN - nurses, dietitians, certified diabetes educators, pharmacists, mental health therapists, exercise specialists, and respiratory therapists. While these healthcare providers are not located in your family physician's office - most are located in the Wood Buffalo PCN Central Clinic (301-108 Riverstone Ridge in Stoney Creek Village, Timberlea)  - they provide care under the direct guidance of your doctor, with whom they work as one unified team to provide you with the care that you need.

To learn more about how to access the PCN and to connect with your care team in Fort McMurray, follow the steps below:

1. Register for AHCIP

If you have lived in Alberta for longer than three months, you are eligible to apply for health care insurance through the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). When you register and receive your Alberta Personal Health Card, you will be able to access a wide range of hospital and family physician services, including the programs of the Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network.

Click HERE to apply for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)

2. Connect with a Local Family Physician

Your family physician is your partner in health. By becoming attached to a local doctor, you ensure that you have one main provider who knows your medical history and can provide you with whole-picture healthcare. Family physicians also provide routine health screening tests even when you're not feeling sick, in order to find problems early before they become serious.

If you do not yet have a local family physician in Fort McMurray, you can find a list of physicians accepting new patients HERE. You can also visit Alberta Find A Doctor to find physicians accepting new patients anywhere in Alberta.

Every resident of Fort McMurray stands to benefit from being attached to a family physician, whether you're a newcomer, only live here part-time, or have been a member of our community for years; many healthcare programs and services (such as some of our PCN programs) are only available to those with a family physician.

3. Get Acquainted with us: The Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network

In Fort McMurray, every family physician is a member of the Wood Buffalo PCN. If you have a local family physician, you are already a patient of the WB PCN, and can ask your doctor to access other WB PCN programs and services which interest you.

Care for Chronic Conditions: We offer specialized care for people with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, chronic pain, asthma, COPD, and more. We have programs for both children and adults alike.

Preventative Care: We provide access to health professionals like Dietitians and Exercise Specialists for those who are looking to improve their wellbeing, but don't yet suffer from chronic conditions. If you're interested, talk to your Family Doctor about a referral to visit the WB PCN's health professionals.

Women's Health Screenings: We provide pap testing (current guidelines: once every three years, unless your doctor requests otherwise), and can also screen for STIs during your pap visit.

Specialist Connections: We frequently host visiting specialists at our clinics, specialists such as nephrologists, endocrinologists, and pulmonologists, to prevent patients from having to travel to Edmonton to receive care.

Questions? Call us at (780) 714-2193