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President’s Message – November 2023

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Dear ACFP Members:

The Alberta College of Family Physicians believes that every Albertan deserves to have access to a family physician and a primary care team. To do that, Alberta Health needs to fund the expansion of family practice teams at the point of care including more appropriate funding for family physicians and other members of the team that will incentivize optimal team-based care. We will continue to be steadfast in our advocacy efforts for this and in our support for the Alberta Medical Association’s efforts to build a new compensation model for longitudinal comprehensive care.

The government’s messaging about the new funding model for Alberta’s nurse practitioners (NPs) has resulted in a misunderstanding regarding the value and contribution of family physicians in primary care. We are supportive of complementary team members working to their full practice scopes to optimize care in a medical home or health neighbourhood. The new funding model offers more resources to our destabilized primary care system and the opportunity for Alberta’s nurse practitioners (NPs) to improve timely access to a primary care provider for all Albertans. Please trust that we are working hard to ensure the approach is founded on collaboration and not substitution. In the coming days, we will be sending a letter to both the Premier and Minister of Health reiterating this position.

For more than a month, the ACFP has been working with our partners to inform, consult, and collaborate on the Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System (MAPS) initiative. We are sitting on the Supporting Comprehensive Primary Care Task Force as announced by Minister Adriana LaGrange on October 18, 2023. The work of the Task Force is to advise and provide recommendations to the Management Committee in accordance with the AMA Agreement on three issues:

  1. Longitudinal Family Physician Practice Model – as proposed by the AMA
  2. Strategies to address administrative burden among primary care providers, and
  3. Other short-term actions to further stabilize primary care

The Task Force has agreed to short deadlines for the deliverables so that the recommendations can inform Alberta Health’s budget and structural changes that are in the works. 

Survey on Decreasing Administrative Burden

In collaboration with the Task Force members, we are conducting a survey on Decreasing Administrative Burden in Primary Care.  Many of you have responded already however, we would like to get more input to support the discussion on the extent of the issue and the resulting recommendations.  Please click here to take the survey.  

 We will also be holding focus groups and key informant interviews in the next week specifically to talk about Decreasing Administrative Burden in Primary Care. If you are interested in sitting in one of three focus group sessions being held on November 29th, 7-8 a.m., 5-6 p.m. or 7-8 p.m., please send your contact information to

 If at any time you want to connect, please email me at


Noel DaCunha, MBBS, CCFP
Alberta College of Family Physicians

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My name is Smitha Yaltho and I feel privileged to work as a family physician. Why? I believe that being a family physician has been the best job any physician can hope to have. I have personally grown in my own abilities and skill-sets with diverse opportunities in ambulatory practice, acute care and work in Facility Living.  Working in primary care has been exciting and has also afforded me tremendous opportunities for growth while still remaining stimulating in its complexity.  I believe that Family physicians are trusted partners in patient care –  every step of the way. 

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
I currently have an interest in Physician Leadership and  trauma informed care.  I have served as a director with the Board of Directors with the Edmonton North PCN, Edmonton’s largest PCN. Thereafter, I have worked as the Director of Medical Services with CapitalCare (also based in Edmonton) for almost 6 years. It is my express wish that my contribution on the ACFP board of directors will highlight the excellence of family medicine that exists right here and now within the Alberta health care system. 

What about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
Ability to highlight and further support the excellence of primary care right here in Alberta.