Dear ACFP Members:
Since the announcement of Alberta Health’s Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System (MAPS) initiative last September, the Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) has been an active advocate for its members. Our efforts draw upon our own MAPS submission (Executive Summary), which ensure that every Albertan has access to a family physician working with a primary health care team.
This past Wednesday, the Minister of Health released the Strategic Advisory Panel Final Report and the Indigenous Primary Health Care Advisory Panel Final Report. Many of our recommendations from our MAPS submission are well aligned with what is presented in the reports. We believe that the reports present a well-grounded case for change. There are several core recommendations to refocus the primary health care system which include the following:
- Access to team-based care
- Integration between primary health care and community care
- A foundation for a coordinated and accountable primary health care system
The Indigenous Advisory Panel also suggests themes that align with our submitted recommendations such as equitable access to culturally safe care for all Albertans and investing in collective and collaborative solutions based on community needs. And there is more we need to work on together.
I was also pleased to see specific considerations for rural implementation within each of the recommendations. Primary health care needs to retain and attract family physicians, support the infrastructure for team-based care, and ensure every Albertan has access to a family doctor and comprehensive team of providers.
We are encouraged that key primary care partners including the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and the ACFP will be members of a task force for a new payment model for family physicians. We continue to support our colleagues at the AMA who have examined the remuneration models and hope they and Alberta Health can agree to something impactful.
We understand that not all our members believe this announcement may be enough; we commit to continue to bring your voices to the table. We take our role very seriously and are proud to be included in these next steps for change. We will maintain a collaborative approach with this government and continue to provide evidence and resources to advance a modernized primary health care system.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your dedication and service,
Noel DaCunha, MBBS, CCFP
Alberta College of Family Physicians