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Frequently Asked Questions

What is primary care?

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 doctors and a team of healthcare professionals such as nurses, mental health professionals, 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 during pregnancy, care for chronic illnesses, and counselling.

What is a Primary Care Network?

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) were established to improve access to family doctors and other frontline health providers in Alberta. Each PCN develops programs and services that meet the local health needs of people in its area. PCNs are established within a framework set by Alberta Health, the Alberta Medical Association, and Alberta Health Services. There are currently 39 PCNs in Alberta, and the CWC PCN is one of the largest.

What are the benefits of having a family doctor who is part of the CWC PCN?

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 doctor’s practice should feel like a home for managing all your health needs. We are an extension of community practices — think of us as part of the neighbourhood.

  • Through regulated health professionals, including nurses, psychologists, and social workers.
  • Through patient care coordination that helps doctors gain a better understanding of their patients’ needs. This includes arranging well-organized visits for when patients need to be seen and helping to track achievements in improved patient care.
  • Through access to a doctor at an appointment-based clinic (the Primary Care Centre) that is open 365 days a year and after hours to provide care when your doctor is unable to see you.
  • These programs enhance access by connecting you to your family doctor. The benefits include improved disease prevention and enhanced patient satisfaction through screening, follow-up, and tracking.
  • Our programs and services are helping to meet the future needs of a growing and aging population.

When was the Calgary West Central PCN established?

The CWC PCN was established in 2006 and has grown to include hundreds of family doctors providing comprehensive, community-based primary care to hundreds of thousands of patients.

What is the geographical boundary of the CWC PCN?

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.

What if my doctor is outside the boundary?

Some doctors in our membership have clinics outside of our boundaries and are listed in our directory. Click here to check. Your doctor may be a member of another PCN.

Click here for a list of other Calgary area PCNs.

What if my doctor is not a member?

All family doctors, whether or not they are members of a PCN, 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 programs and services designed for the needs of the PCN’s region.

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