The government of Alberta is recommending historical spending to improve the primary healthcare system in the province for the 2023 budget.

Investing $2 billion in improving primary healthcare would be a record, the most significant investment ever if Budget 2023 were to be approved.

Primary Care Network financing, family doctor compensation, funds to improve and modernize primary healthcare, and investments to support community-based physicians with information technology systems that will enhance patient continuity of care are all examples.

Premier Danielle Smith and Health Minister Jason Copping prioritized the importance of supporting primary care as the foundation of Alberta’s health care system. This includes supporting the continuing work of Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Care System (MAPS).

“The significant budget investment we’re proposing would make a tremendous difference in modernizing and strengthening Alberta’s primary health care system. I’m excited to move forward on areas that were identified and thank the panel members and everyone who has provided input so far into this very critical work,” explained Jason Copping, Minister of Health.

The minister has received interim reports from the MAPS strategic and Indigenous advisory groups, and all of their suggestions have been accepted in principle. Specific funds would be included in the budget for 2023 in order to carry out those early possibilities for primary care investment.

The record level of funding proposed includes $243 million in new funding over three years.

If approved, Budget 2023 would include $27 million for PCNs (Primary Care Networks) to cover an anticipated rise in the number of patients tied to a primary care physician, $40 million to assist PCNs under the AMA agreement, and $125 million to execute MAPS' recommendations. Also, $12 million will be used to fund IT programmes that will enhance care continuity across the province.

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