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Alberta Budget cuts change after hours clinic

IMAGE. Supplied by the Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network.

The Alberta Budget cuts resulted in Fort McMurray’s only after-hours clinic cutting its hours.

The Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network announced the clinic would close on weekdays as of March 31, 2020.

Located in Stoneycreek Village in Timberlea, the clinic’s regular hours are:

  • Monday to Friday: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Beginning March 31, the clinic will be open from:

  • Monday to Friday: Closed
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


The Primary Care Network said, barring further government cuts, its weekend hours will remain unaffected.

The Alberta government introduced a cap on daily patient visits for physicians.

Daily caps is the sixth of 11 proposals the province plans to implement.

There is no current limit on the number of patients a physician in Alberta may see each day.

The Alberta government said it would maintain physician funding at $5.4-billion by instituting a new framework.

As part of the new framework, physicians would see up to 65 patients per day.

The province said it mandated the cap to give physicians more time with individual patients and reduce burnout.

It also said a general physician sees 22 patients per day, and a specialist 13 patients per day at their office.

The cap would only apply to office visits and not hospital visits, and would not apply to rural communities.

Speaking about the cap, the Primary Care Network said its physicians see the prescribed number of patients each weekday.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said its 11 consultation proposals would avoid $2-billion in cost overruns over the next three years.

“If left unaddressed, these costs would impede efforts to reduce surgical wait times, improve mental health and addiction services, and expand the number of continuing care beds. The new framework announced today will prevent cost overruns, allow our province to improve services for patients, and still ensure that Alberta’s doctors are amongst the highest-paid physicians in all of Canada.”

Shandro added the Alberta Medical Association failed to put forward alternatives to deal with the overruns due solely to physician compensation.

The PCN recommends patients requiring after-hours care go to the Emergency Department at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.