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Health Care

Health care in Wood Buffalo is coordinated and delivered through Alberta Health Services, Northern Region, part of the Province's health care system.

The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre in Fort McMurray is the main regional health centre and hospital. It offers acute and continuing health care including 24-hour emergency services, laboratory and x-ray services, mental health services, general surgery, ambulatory care, rehabilitation, home care, maternity services, and community health. Interpreters are available to help patients communicate with their healthcare providers at the hospital.

Family physicians in the region formed the Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network in 2006 to coordinate health care and specialized services within the region. Newcomers looking for family physicians can find a list of doctors accepting new patients through the Primary Care Network.

Fort McMurray Community Health Services is located in the neighbourhood of Thickwood, and provides public health services to residents.

Rehabilitation services in general are accessible through the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre. People who need specialized health services, such as cardiology or specialized pediatric services, should research their specific needs and how to meet them before moving to Fort McMurray. Travel to Edmonton might be required for some specialty services

Paying for Health Care Services

Many health services here are free for people who are covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). Newcomers to Alberta or Canada can applyfor AHCIP three months before leaving their place of origin.

New residents of Alberta who move from another province or territory in Canada, with the exception of Quebec, can use Alberta health services until they are eligible for AHCIP as their province of origin will cover most health care costs for the month of the move plus the first two months in Alberta, if the person had health care coverage in their province of origin. People moving from Quebec can receive emergency services, but will have to pay for medical services and then apply for reimbursement.

Ambulance Services

Not all services are covered under AHCIP. Emergency and ambulance fees must be paid by the patient. Because of the region's expansive size, emergency services can be expensive, especially air ambulance.

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