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Levels of Care

Health Link Alberta

This province-wide consumer information line provides registered nurse telephone advice and health information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call in from anywhere in the province by dialling toll-free to 1-866-408-5465.

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 physicians, and by nurses, dieticians, mental health professionals, pharmacists, 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. Both family doctors and health regions routinely provide primary care services. Family physicians are often the first place patients seek appointments for their primary care needs. And Alberta Health Services provides a range of important services such as laboratory and x-ray services, home care, immunization programs, hospital care, and long-term care.

Secondary Health Care

Secondary Health Care services are provided by a physician specialist (such as a paediatrician or internist) upon referral by a primary care physician/nurse practitioner.

Tertiary Care

Tertiary Care services are provided by highly specialized providers such as neurosurgeons, thoracic surgeons and intensive care units in the academic health science centres of Calgary and Edmonton for patients who have rare or complex conditions. These services often require highly sophisticated technology and facilities.

Quaternary Care

Quaternary Care provides for the most complex level of medical and surgical care and is available only in a limited number of academic health science centres. Some of these centres are regional or national centres for more specialized care.

Alberta Home Care Programs

Alberta Health Services is responsible for providing home care services to people in Alberta's communities.

It will be important that, as a new physician, you immediately become familiar with what is available in your community. The best source of information will be your zone or site medical director and colleagues.

Additional information
Ask your zone or site medical director and colleagues

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