What is Primary Care?
Primary care is the care you receive for your everyday health needs. It is typically provided by family doctors and health teams that can include nurses, dietitians, mental health professionals, and pharmacists. Primary care includes the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of various health conditions. It also includes referrals to specialists and diagnostic services such as laboratory tests or X-rays.
What is a Primary Care Network (PCN)?
Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are groups of family doctors and other health professionals who work together to develop programs and services designed to meet your everyday health needs. These can include health teams, after hours care, clinics and workshops. There are seven PCNs in the Calgary area – caring for more than one million patients -- and 42 province-wide.
Why is it important to have a family doctor?
Family doctors provide continuity of care. When you build a relationship with a family physician it means he or she understands your health background and issues. Research shows patients who have a family doctor and visit them regularly are healthier as they age and live longer. In addition, they receive more chronic disease care, make fewer visits to the emergency room and are hospitalized less.
How can I use this website?
Go to calgaryareadocs.com and choose from one of two options:
- Help Me Find a Doctor: Click the green button on the left of the page to ask a Calgary-area PCN to find you a family doctor. This process involves completing an online form.
- Find a Doctor: Click the ‘Find a Doctor’ button on the right of the page to access a map that shows which doctors are accepting patients in your preferred area. By using this service you can select a clinic that suits you best and call to request an appointment.
Does my family doctor belong to a PCN?
The family doctors listed on this website belong to one of seven Calgary-area PCNs. More than 80% of Alberta family doctors belong to a PCN.
What does that mean for me?
Having a family doctor who is a member of a PCN means you have access to a wide range of programs and services. These could include health teams, after hours care, maternity or chronic pain clinics and a variety of workshops and programs from weight management to quitting smoking. The care you receive from the team is an extension of the care you receive from your family doctor, and is part of what makes your doctor’s clinic your health or medical home. Each PCN designs programs and services to meet the unique health needs of the geographic area they serve. As a result, each PCN has customized programs.
Which PCNs operate in the Calgary area?
The seven Calgary-area PCNs and the geographical areas they serve are listed below:
- Northeast Calgary: Mosaic PCN – www.mosaicpcn.ca
- North Calgary and Cochrane: Calgary Foothills PCN – www.cfpcn.ca
- Central Calgary: Calgary West Central PCN – www.cwcpcn.com
- South Calgary: South Calgary PCN – www.scpcn.ca
- Airdrie, Carstairs, Crossfield, Didsbury and surrounding areas: Highland PCN – www.yourhpcn.com
- Bow Valley (Banff, Canmore, Dead Man’s Flats, Exshaw, Harvie Heights, Kananaskis, Lac des Arcs, Lake Louise, Morley and Seebe): Bow Valley PCN – www.bowvalleypcn.ca
- Rural (Black Diamond, Bragg Creek, Chestermere, Claresholm, Eden Valley, High River, Nanton, Okotoks, Siksika First Nation, Strathmore and Vulcan): Calgary Rural PCN - www.crpcn.ca
To find a doctor elsewhere in Alberta, please visit the provincial Find a Doctor website.
Who can use the Find a Doctor service?
This service is available if you live in the Calgary area and don’t have a regular family doctor. It is also available if your doctor is retiring or closing his/her practice.
I need a doctor urgently. What should I do?
- In case of an emergency, dial 911
- If you need urgent/non-emergency care, please visit an urgent care centre in your area
- If you need after hours care or have questions about symptoms, contact Health Link at 811.
- For 24-hour free counselling, contact the Distress Centre at 403-266-4357.
How often is this website updated?
This website is updated on a regular basis. However, Primary Care Networks cannot guarantee that information about which doctors are accepting new patients is up to date at the time of enquiry. The best way to find out if a doctor is accepting new patients is to contact the clinic.
If I use the ‘Help Find Me a Doctor’ service, what happens after I register?
When you submit your information, the PCN which serves the area where you live or want to find a doctor will connect you with a family doctor who is accepting new patients. Requests are processed in the order they are received. Average wait times for each PCN are posted on the website when you register.
I would like to choose my doctor by gender or language spoken. Is that possible?
Yes. If using the Find a Doctor service, click the blue Search tab at the top of the home page and select gender and language from the drop-down menus. If you are using the Help Me Find a Doctor service, please click on the appropriate button when asked to fill in the online request form. Please note: the number of physicians who are accepting new patients varies and can be limited, so the availability of doctors by gender or languages spoken cannot be guaranteed.
Can you help me fill out the ‘Help Me Find a Doctor’ form?
If you require assistance registering for this service, please call Health Link at 811.