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 WBPCN Central Clinic in Keyano's Syncrude Sport & Wellness Center - 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:
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 (WBPCN).
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.
Link: Find a Local Family Physician Accepting New Patients.
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.
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.
In 2006, every Family Physician in Fort McMurray joined together to form the Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network, in order to develop and deliver comprehensive care programs to address the community's health challenges and care needs.
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 WBPCN, and can ask your doctor to access other WBPCN 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 WBPCN'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, Neurologists, Pain Specialists, and Pulmonologists, to prevent patients from having to travel to Edmonton to receive care.
Some Central Clinic programs require your Physician's referral. Talk
to your doctor about which services you might benefit
from. Below are a sample of just six of our many programs: