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Healthcare Basics for Albertans


Have you ever had a problem using the healthcare system? Maybe you’ve had trouble finding a family doctor or didn’t know where to go if you needed to set up homecare for a family member or friend.

We wanted to know what matters most to the people of Alberta. So we asked Albertans, like you, what you wanted to know about our healthcare system. You told us you wanted to learn more about healthcare basics – the government and non-government organizations and the services and information that’s there for you.

Healthcare Basics for Albertans was co-designed by Albertans. It covers:

  • information and where to find it
  • healthcare services in Alberta
  • the partners that make up Alberta’s healthcare system

Information and where to find it


Healthcare partners and services offer information that you might find helpful. Health information includes health advice and where to find health services.

If you have an emergency and need help right away, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department or urgent care centre.

If you’re not sure what to do or need advice, call 811 day or night to speak to a registered nurse. You can also go to to find information on many health topics.

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Alberta Health Services (funded by Alberta Health) offers many health services that are paid for by the Government of Alberta. Alberta Health also funds other public services, including most visits to your doctor and medical tests.

You have to pay for some healthcare services that the provincial government doesn’t pay for, such as visits to your dentist or physiotherapist and sick notes or forms filled out by your doctor.

Some people have private insurance plans through their work. You can also buy your own private insurance to cover all or part of the cost of private services.

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Healthcare partners include:

  • doctors
  • nurses
  • pharmacists
  • physiotherapists
  • dentists
  • health researchers at universities
  • non-profit organizations that raise money or offer services for people with different kinds of health issues

Some partners are linked to the provincial government and some aren’t.

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