News / Calgary

Guide to navigating health care system in Alberta coming soon

Health Care 101 will be available to all Albertans later this year

AHS wants to send you back to school, but don't worry – no math will be involved. The health body is developing a curriculum for Albertans to learn about the ins and outs of the provincial health system.

CP File

AHS wants to send you back to school, but don't worry – no math will be involved. The health body is developing a curriculum for Albertans to learn about the ins and outs of the provincial health system.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) wants to school you in the ABC’s of health care. 

Last year, the non-profit advocacy group Imagine Citizens Collaborating for Health (IMAGINE) approached AHS to collaborate on a simple curriculum about how the health system works, now dubbed Health Care 101.

“When we get really sick or stressed, the last thing we want to figure out is how to navigate in or out of services,” said Troy Stooke, co-chair of the Health Care 101 project and IMAGINE member.

“There are many different components to the health care system and we haven’t done a good job – really anywhere in Canada, but we think specifically in Alberta – teaching people what their health care system is made up of,” said Tracy Wasylak, senior program officer of strategic clinical networks with AHS and co-chair of the project.

Health Care 101 will provide free information and tools designed to educate Albertans about a range of topics such as finding a family doctor, accessing services, and what prescriptions are funded by the province.

“If (Albertans) had better knowledge, I think it would help them navigate, ask the right questions, and be empowered to support themselves through the health care system,” said Wasylak.

A pilot project will launch in late March and adjustments will be made based on citizen feedback. The final product should be available to all Albertans by the end of May this year.

Websites such as HealthLink and MyHealthAlberta will likely host the material, and there are plans for a TEDTalk video series, according to Wasylak.

Customized material for different groups of Alberta’s population, such as indigenous people and newcomers to Canada, will be created after the initial project is complete.