Primary care is the first point of contact a person has with the health system - the point where people receive care for most of their everyday health needs. Primary care is typically provided by family physicians and health care professionals such as nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, mental health professionals, therapists and others.
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. Examples of primary care include regular checkups, care for pregnant women, care for chronic illnesses and counselling.
Primary Care Networks (PCNs) were established to improve access to family physicians and other frontline health providers in Alberta. Each network develops programs and services that meet the local health needs of patients in its area. PCNs are established within the framework set by Alberta Health, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and Alberta Health Services (AHS). There are currently 41 PCNs in Alberta, and the CWC PCN is one of the largest.
Our goal is to strengthen both the care that you receive and your relationship with your family doctor through teams, programs and services. Your family physician's practice should feel like a home for managing all of your health needs. We are an extension of community practices – think of us as part of the neighborhood.
The CWC PCN was established in 2006 and has grown to include over 495 family physicians providing comprehensive, community-based primary care to more than 311,000 patients in 140 medical practice locations.
The CWC PCN is bounded on the north and east sides by the Bow River, on the south side by Anderson Road and to the west by the city limits.
All family doctors, whether or not they are members of a Primary Care Network, have access to specialized health services and the ability to make referrals. The difference is that in a PCN such as the CWC PCN, patients have ready access to health professionals on the Patient Care Teams.
In 2003, Alberta Health and Wellness (now Alberta Health), the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and Alberta’s Regional Health Authorities (now Alberta Health Services) established the Primary Care Initiative (PCI) to improve access to family physicians and other frontline health care providers in Alberta. The purpose of the PCI was to develop Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and support them in meeting the objectives of the program. To date, 42 PCNs have been established in Alberta.
The Calgary West Central PCN is made up of 495 physicians in over 140 clinics.find one near you