Frequently Asked Questions

Have a few questions? Select the questions below to find out more​. ​​​

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 health care professionals such as nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, behavioural health consultants, kinesiologists, 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 counseling.

What is a PCN PMO?
The Primary Care Networks Program Management Office (PCN PMO) is a program within the Alberta Medical Association that provides operational and business administrative support services to Primary Care Networks (PCNs), as well as tools and resources to support PCNs in communications, evaluation, and quality, and business planning. Additionally, the Primary Care Network Evolution initiative is managed through the PCN PMO.

What is a Primary Care Network?
The Primary Care Networks (PCNs) were established to improve access to family doctors 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).

What communities does the Highland PCN provide services to?
The Highland PCN provides services to Airdrie, Didsbury, Carstairs, and Crossfield, as well as the surrounding communities, Cremona, Irricana, Beiseker, and Balzac.

What are my options for accessing health care services?

Your family doctor
With most family doctors now offering same-day and after-hours appointments, the best option for your on-going health needs is to visit your family doctor.

Same day and after-hours services
By offering same-day and after-hours appointments, Family Doctors are able to help with concerns such as sprains, ear infections, and flu symptoms and therefore eliminating unwanted and unnecessary trips to Urgent Care. Visit our Member Clinics section to see an up-to-date list of our clinic locations and contact information.

HealthLink 811
If you have a health concern or you’re not sure where to go for help, you can phone HealthLink at 811 to speak with a nurse on this free, round-the-clock, telephone advice and health information service.

What programs does Highland PCN offer to the public?
The Highland PCN offers classes focusing on Stress Management, Happiness Basics, Mindful Eating / Nutrition, and an indoor walking program. For more information on these classes visit the Programs section on the website.

What programs does Highland PCN offer by referral?
Through referrals by your family doctors the Highland PCN offers access to Prescription to Get Active , and access to the Health Management Team & Extended Health Team.

How are PCNs funded?
Primary Care Networks receive funding from Alberta Health (the government).

Do all PCNs offer the same services?
Every Primary Care Network provides primary care services but has the flexibility to provide specific programs and services based on their population.