A joint task force with members from Sylvan Lake and surrounding communities and Alberta Health Services (AHS) will spend the next three months finalizing a plan for after-hours urgent care.
The formation of the task force is the result of a meeting held this week to determine a sustainable go-forward plan for after-hours urgent health care in Sylvan Lake.
“I want to thank Mayor McIntyre, the Urgent Care Committee, physicians in the Wolf Creek Primary Care Network and leaders from around the region for partnering with AHS and the government to find a solution for after-hours care in Sylvan Lake,” said Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. “By working together we now have a clear plan with a clear timeline to address the community’s health needs.”
“We are committed to working with the community to develop a health care solution that works for Sylvan Lake,” said Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO, AHS. “We understand clearly that there is a need for after-hours care, and together, we will make this happen.”
The task force will include staff and physicians from AHS and the community’s Primary Care Network, members of the town’s Urgent Care Committee, and representatives of the Town of Sylvan Lake and surrounding communities.
By September 30, the task force will present its recommended solution to provide urgent after-hours care to the Minister of Health.
“This is a very positive development for our community,” said Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre. “Sylvan Lake and our surrounding area have a diverse population, many of which are young families. It is vital that residents and visitors have access to urgent care outside normal business hours, and we appreciate the willingness to work towards a solution in the very near term.”
Previously in Sylvan Lake, physicians from the Wolf Creek Primary Care Network (PCN) have provided after-hours care on an as-needed basis from their offices. This practice has become unsustainable as the community has grown. Anyone needing urgent after-hours care has needed to travel to nearby emergency departments if they were unable to be seen at the PCN or in their homes.
“The need has been recognized and I’m pleased there is a commitment to finalizing a model and moving to implementation. This is a significant milestone in addressing the number one priority for Sylvan Lake and area,” said Susan Samson, Chair of the Urgent Care Committee.
The task force will explore options on how to deliver after-hours urgent care, along with supporting lab and diagnostic services. A preferred option will be put forward no later than September 30.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.