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St. Albert PCN happy to see primary care addressed in Budget 2024

Too early judge impact of budget, restructuring on local physicians, doctor says

The provincial budget alone won’t solve the problems facing primary care doctors in St. Albert and across the province, according to Dr. Alfred Durojaye, president of the St. Albert and Sturgeon Primary Care Network (PCN).

“We are hoping that more information regarding stabilization, compensation models and restructuring will be coming soon,” Durojaye said in an email to the Gazette, referring to the province’s plan to dismantle Alberta Health Services in favour of four new health care agencies.  

A recent report from the Alberta Medical Association found 61 per cent of Alberta’s family physicians are considering leaving the Alberta health care system, but Durojaye said St. Albert has been fortunate to have a “relatively stable” number of doctors.  

“It’s too early to say what impact the budget and health restructuring might have on our local physicians,” he said. “We have seen a few retiring physicians, some reducing their hours and others who have left the community for personal reasons. We’ve also seen some new physicians come to the area.”

Durojaye was happy to see primary care “specifically mentioned in the budget.”

“Any time primary care is being talked about as the foundation for health care is a silver lining!” he said.

The provincial budget was announced on Feb. 29. Health funding is expected to land at roughly $24 billion in 2023-24 and will increase to around $25.7 billion in 2024-25, but the increase will not match the province’s projected population growth.

About the Author: Riley Tjosvold

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