Health & Wellness
“We should invest as much effort into keeping people out of the hospital in the first place as we invest into getting them well once they are there.”
What is a Primary Care Network (PCN)?
First established in 2003 through the Primary Care Initiative, PCNs are groups of doctors and other health professionals, including nurses, dietitians and pharmacists, who coordinate the delivery of primary care services for patients.
Finnish Baby Boxes
Distributed by the Finnish government to expectant mothers, these maternity packages offer clothing, bedding, bathing products and educational resources for new parents.
In 2015, the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing began offering a Welcome to Parenthood package, based on the Finnish model, for Albertan parents. Continued research and development of this model will ensure that expectant parents are given adequate support and resources to raise healthy children.
It is in our best interest as a province to foster a healthy society that reduces the strain on our healthcare system. We need to emphasize a wellness-based approach to healthcare that supports Albertans in living long and happy lives. Increasing efficiency, aligning incentives and focusing on education and prevention will save us money and help to ensure Albertans receive timely access to healthcare.
Alberta invests significantly in its healthcare system. We have dedicated healthcare professionals, world-class hospitals and we are a global leader in medical research. This impressive quality of care is due to us spending more per capita on care than most other provinces and nearly twenty percent above the national average. Yet despite this significant expenditure, we do not have consistently better outcomes. Our emergency rooms are often misused, rural hospitals are underutilized and long wait times persist for some procedures. While costs continue to escalate there has been little money directed towards a true preventative healthcare strategy.
 “National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2014,” Canadian Institute for Health Information, https://www.cihi.ca/en/nhex_2014_report_en.pdf.
 Alberta Health, “Alberta’s Primary Health Care Strategy,” http://www.health.alberta.ca/documents/Primary-Health-Care-Strategy-2014.pdf.
 Karen Owen, “Welcome to Parenthood package delivers vital information to new families,” UToday, February 18, 2015, https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2015-02-18/welcome-parenthood-package-delivers-vital-information-new-families.