A family doctor won't just help you when you're sick...
Did you know that having a consistent relationship with a family doctor and team can ensure you are healthier as you age?
Research shows you will receive better care, make fewer visits to emergency rooms and live longer. In fact, there’s a long – and growing – list of reasons why you need a family doctor.
Top 5 reasons why you need a family doctor:
- Live longer
- Better care
- Better health
- Fewer hospital admissions, visits to emergency
- Higher patient satisfaction
Your family doctor is your main point of contact – or ‘home base’ – in the health system. Also known as your health or medical home, your doctor’s clinic can meet your everyday health needs and connect you to other health and social services. Because they know your history, they can help reduce the number of times you have to tell your story or undergo duplicate tests.
Five lesser known benefits of having a family doctor:
- More support to achieve your personal health goals
- Preventative care and disease management
- Your health history and needs are known to your doctor
- Access to a team of health professionals and free programs and services
- Your knowledge and preferences are valued; you can play a greater role in decision-making
Your doctor and Primary Care Network team
Most family doctors in Alberta are members of Primary Care Networks. PCNs are groups of family doctors who work alongside nurses, mental health therapists, pharmacists, social workers and other health professionals to meet the everyday health needs of Albertans in the communities in which they live and work.
PCNs develop services that can include free workshops, after-hours care and health promotion programs. They also improve care coordination throughout the healthcare system and partner with local hospitals. Together, your family doctor and your PCN are your home base for a healthier future. Click here to find out more.
Healthy you, healthy us
According to the Canadian Institute for Heath Information, the average cost of a hospital stay in Alberta is $8,112. That equates to about $188 per patient, per month, for hospital care. By way of a comparison, PCN services cost the system about $5 per patient, per month. Helping to reduce the number of emergency department visits and hospital admissions is one way having a family doctor and team can help reduce system costs.
“Albertans who have a continuous relationship with a family doctor and team don’t just improve their health. They can also help to save costs. ”
Do the research
There’s a growing body of evidence to support the benefits of having a consistent relationship with a family doctor and team. Some studies show that the stronger the relationship, the better the outcomes. If you’re interested in finding out more, please read this evidence summary.