Action Needed for Accountable and Transparent Primary Care Networks
Friends of Medicare are pleased to see the review made public today by the Ministry of Health. Having long called for a review of Alberta's Primary Care Networks, Friends of Medicare are now calling for follow through to address the issues raised. The review found "instances where the PCN Administrative Leads were receiving remuneration that was higher than the guidelines provided", "the appropriateness of PCN spending for physician compensation was not clear," and "instances where PCNs were using public dollars on expenditures that were inappropriate".
"What the review and the governments response did not make clear is how widespread this problem is, how much it has cost us, or how it will be solved," said Executive Director Sandra Azocar, "In the spirit of accountability and transparency we need to know that action is being taken not just to prevent further occurrences, but to make sure those who were putting public funds towards excessive or inappropriate pay or expenses are held to account."
While laying clear the value of Primary Care Networks in improving patient outcomes, the review found many shortcomings in service integration and delivery.
"With over a billion dollars invested in Primary Care Networks in just over ten years, Albertans deserve to see value for their funding of these networks. We applaud Minister Hoffman for launching the review and committing to improving the system. Investment in primary care is essential if we hope to improve the overall health of Albertans while also dealing with capacity issues in our healthcare system. We hope to see clearer details on how the Ministry's planned changes will bring about improved accountability and service delivery. We want to see the right structure for PCNs to ensure they responsibly provide better health outcomes," Azocar added.