BY TREVOR ROBB, EDMONTON SUN
FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED:
The provincial government laid out plans Thursday to open nine new Family Care Clinics (FCCs) in the province.
Alberta Minister of Health Fred Horne was joined by health officials at the Allin Clinic, 10155 120 St., to announce $45 million in new funding from the 2014 budget to open nine FCC’s in Calgary North Centre, Calgary West Bow, Consort, Edmonton Boyle McCauley, Edmonton Oliver, Peace River, Sylvan Lake, Siksika and one for the Metis Nation Association of Alberta.
The FCC’s are among the 24 proposed locations announced in June 2013. The nine announced Thursday have submitted their legal documents to form a non-profit corporation and receive funding.
In former premier Alison Redford’s resignation speech in March, she mentioned Horne would announce “more than 80” new FCC’s in the next two months.
In 2012, when Horne was sworn in as Health Minister he was directed the task to establish 140 FCC’s in Alberta. There are currently three FCC’s in the province, one in Calgary, one in Edmonton and another in Slave Lake.
Horne admitted on Thursday the initial number may have been an “overly ambitious” target,
“For me, being committed to implementing the vision of the primary health care strategy is far more important than 140 Family Care Clinics or promoting PCN’s over FCC’s — it’s not a question about models,” said Horne. “I realize that there certainly has been criticisms and there will be criticisms in the future”¦but going forward the decisions that we make about investments of primary health care dollars in our budget will be all about giving people the services they need right now.”
In addition, Horne announced Thursday $32 million — a combination of $10 million allocated from the 2014 Budget with $22 million in PCN reserves” — in funding made available to Primary Care Networks (PCNs), to implement advancements including same day/next day appointments and extending operating hours.
The government allocated $208 million to PCNs in the 2014 Budget. There are currently 42 PCNs in Alberta.