HomeCalgary ZoneAlbertans have a role to play in health system planning

Albertans have a role to play in health system planning

Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Council has been a collaborative partner with Alberta Health Services (AHS) both provincially and within the Calgary Zone for the past seven years. This has ensured the public voice is represented and respectfully considered in healthcare delivery decisions. It is because of this relationship that I am pleased to provide some thoughts.

As Albertans, we have a significant and active role in managing our own health and wellness needs. We must differentiate our needs from our wants, and evaluate our expectations of healthcare services both now and in the future. Can we continue to expect AHS to be all things “health and wellness” to all people?

Perhaps there are some ways we, as individuals, can take charge, and take responsibility:

  • find a family physician through a Primary Care Network, or consider finding guidance and care through other providers including community based pharmacists,  or physiotherapists to name a few
  • proactively build long term relationships with care providers who can help evaluate current conditions, suggest life style changes to improve the conditions, and guide us through times when increased care is required
  • increase the use of family clinics, Health Link, or urgent care centres to decrease costly non-emergency visits to acute care hospitals

We have an opportunity to contribute to how our health system will look in 2031, to meet our current and longer-term needs while redesigning a more affordable health care system. I am hopeful that this redesign will focus much more on community based healthcare rather than the traditional institutional-based services that our wants may have inadvertently created.