This project evaluated the first year of operation of the Airdrie Regional Health Centre (ARHC), looking at how the centre practised the principles of primary health care. ARHC’s services include health promotion, education, counselling, disease/illness prevention, home care, speech assessment and treatment, and hearing assessments. Researchers discovered that ARHC did not meet public expectations of what a health centre should offer. The public wanted a 24-hour, walk-in clinic with nurse practitioner services to address minor emergencies. However, the regional health authority and inadequate public funding would not support such a vision. In addition, the organizational structure, including budgets and different geographic catchment areas for different programs, was a barrier to integrated service delivery. Other barriers existed at ARHC: organizational turmoil, funding obstacles, and a prolonged debate about the nature of primary health care.
The full report for this project is available on the Alberta Health and Wellness web site at http://www.health.gov.ab.ca/system/key/phc/projects/Calgary/Airdrie/description.htm
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.