Know your options so you can get the care you need when you need it. The best place to start is with Health Link or your family doctor. But, there are other options depending on what you need:
A free, round-the-clock, telephone advice and health information service.
Highly experienced Registered Nurses can provide you with advice and information about:
Anyone in Alberta with a health concern can dial 811 for Health Link.
Family doctors are the best option for ongoing medical care with continuity. They will:
Hours vary. Some clinics offer visits for urgent situations if you need to see a doctor right away. For after hours care, please ask your family doctor about your best option. There may be after hours availability, or if your doctor belongs to a Primary Care Network, after hours options are often provided.
Need Help Finding a Family Doctor? Use the online tool provided by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta or call Health Link.
Urgent care centres provide extended hour access for unexpected, but non-life-threatening health concerns, which require same day or evening treatment. Patients coming to urgent care centres may arrive on their own, or be transported there by ambulance. Urgent Care is not a first-come, first-served system. Patients are seen in Urgent Care Centres based on their medical condition and the severity of their situation.
Urgent Care teams typically consist of nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians. An urgent care centre is also supported by an on-site laboratory and x-ray department. Hours of operation vary depending on facility. Please check for operation times and locations.
For serious and life-threatening health concerns always go to your nearest emergency department, or call 911. Visit an urgent care centre for illnesses or injuries that require same day/evening treatment but are not life-threatening. If you are unsure if you should be visiting an urgent care centre, call Health Link for advice.
Common conditions treated in an urgent care centre include:
The role of a centre or an urgent care centres is to provide a transitional step of health service between community physician offices and hospitals.
Urgent care centers have a broader and deeper range of services than physician clinics, but are not equivalent to emergency departments. They also help conserve emergency room resources for more serious, life-threatening conditions.
Find Urgent Care Services near you.
FCCs are an initiative in some communities in the province, to increase access to primary health care services, particularly for those who are: under-served, require a family physician, have chronic diseases and/or addiction and mental health needs.
With a strong focus on wellness, FCCs offer individuals and families comprehensive care close to their home and are integrated with other health services and community supports and programs.
FCCs are different from traditional primary health care settings in that individuals won’t be required to see a physician for access to many of the services offered within the FCC such as dietary advice, physiotherapy or addictions counselling.
MyHealthAlberta is a Government of Alberta initiative in partnership with Alberta Health Services.
This website is a single place for you to go to find trustworthy health information and useful health tools. Among many other resources available on this site, you can:
Visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca to find out more about this valuable resource and how it can help you. MyHealthAlberta will continue to expand be updated with useful health information. Currently, the website includes the following:
If you don’t have a family doctor, some communities have walk-in clinics that often don’t require an appointment. Walk-in clinics are staffed by family physicians.
Many have extended hours into evenings and weekends, providing another option for after hours care.
Health Link can provide advice on after hours care, if you are not sure where to go. This is an option for minor health concerns such as sprains, minor cuts, minor pain, ear infections, and flu symptoms.
Call Health Link or consult your Yellow Pages directory.
In some communities in Alberta, Ambulatory Care Centres provide timely diagnosis and treatment for urgent, but non-life-threatening conditions, including sudden illness or injuries that can be normally treated in a doctor’s office, but which require immediate attention.
Currently, in Alberta, there are Ambulatory Care Centres in the communities of La Crete and Picture Butte:
Facilities that offer community and public health services, provide a wide range of health care options, which may include:
In addition, there are many other community care public health and wellness programs available. For more information refer to the Community Healthy Centres / Public Health Centres directory listing by zone.
Your local pharmacist can:
Pharmacists also offer a wide range of services that can help you and your family maintain good health and avoid emergency situations, including:
This is only a partial list of what pharmacists can help you with. Get to know your pharmacist – the more they know you, the more they can help. Learn more about the range of services your local pharmacy can offer at the Alberta College of Pharmacists website.
If you are concerned that you are seriously ill or injured, go to the nearest Emergency Department. Patients with potentially life-threatening conditions should immediately phone 911.
Emergency Departments provide access for patients suffering from life threatening to minor conditions.
Emergency is not a first-come, first-serve system. Critical patients are attended to first. Find your nearest Emergency Department.
There are estimated emergency wait times available for the Calgary and Edmonton areas.
See an updated length-of-stay statistics from Edmonton and Calgary emergency departments.