Community physicians will soon administer vaccines

Provincial Press Release March 16, 2021 @ 9:33am published at 5:02pm

Community physicians will soon begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine, helping more Albertans get their dose as soon as possible.

Alberta Health has been working with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) to incorporate community physicians into the vaccine distribution plan as vaccine supply increases.

This has resulted in more than 500 expressions of interest from Alberta physicians and stand-alone clinics. Combined, 185 physician clinics containing 1,100 physicians will create additional capacity for an estimated 14,000 daily doses, as supply allows. Some physicians are already assisting Alberta Health Services (AHS) with vaccine administration.

The first community physicians are expected to begin administering vaccines in their clinics in April. New temporary billing codes are being added to the schedule of medical benefits to allow physicians to bill for this service. A medical bulletin outlining the details will be issued in the coming days.

“Albertans look to their family physicians as a trusted primary source of health care. Community physicians who are joining the effort to administer COVID-19 vaccines to everyone who wants one, will offer Albertans additional ways to receive the vaccine and protect themselves against this very real threat to their health.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
“Physicians are eager to know that their patients are being protected from COVID-19. Those family physicians who are able to participate – in their own clinics or through the new rapid flow sites – will make a substantial difference and enhance Alberta’s response to the pandemic." Dr. Paul Boucher, president, Alberta Medical Association

Alberta Health is currently reviewing all expressions of interest. Once this review is complete, interested physicians will be contacted to:

  • Validate their interest.

  • Organize logistics for supply distribution and record management.

Initially, a limited number of clinics will be able to offer the COVID-19 vaccines; however, vaccine supply is expected to increase during the coming weeks and the number of community clinics administering the vaccine will expand along with supply.

Planning is underway for rapid flow clinics involving physicians and other health-care professionals that can be used in the future, if needed. These clinics would be used if Alberta received an unexpected surge in vaccine supply.

To date, 368,124 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta, with 91,593 people fully immunized with two doses.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

Quick facts

  • Billing code info will be posted on the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan Bulletins page

  • For rapid flow through clinics, it is expected that an Alternative Relationship Plan (ARP) will be the method of payment, and discussions with AHS and AMA are underway to finalize.

  • There are approximately 5,600 family physicians in Alberta

  • Alberta Health and the AMA are working collaboratively to help ensure Alberta’s vaccine supply is effectively and efficiently utilized and Albertans have access to information to inform their vaccine decisions from trusted sources.

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