Alberta clinics forced to close because doctors “can’t afford rent”
Some doctors are closing their clinics, saying the cost of rent is too high.

Alexa Posa

April 24, 2024

Some doctors in Alberta are claiming the high cost of rent is forcing them to close their clinics and medicentres. 

Alberta clinics forced to close because doctors “can’t afford rent”

The recent closures of Gateway Medical Clinic on Calgary Trail and 38th Avenue in south Edmonton, affecting over 7000 patients, are two such locations, as doctors claim they “can’t afford the rent on the building.”

“There’s not enough family doctors in order to meet the demand of Albertans, and then on top of that, costs have been rising much faster than reimbursement has,” said Wayne Samuels, the general manager of Medicentres Canada.

Family clinics function like small businesses, where the province gets billed by physicians according to a set fee schedule. 

Despite the average physician in Alberta accumulating an income of $322,873 annually, doctors say they’re unable to pay rent. On Indeed.com, the Medicentres Family Health Care Clinics indicates the average salary is $407,730 per year.

Nonetheless, multiple clinics in Edmonton have already been shut down, including locations at Riverbend Square in the southwest of Edmonton and Castle Downs in the northwest. 

Alberta Government compensation model 

Samuels is optimistic regarding the future of Alberta Medicentres after the government recently announced a new funding program. 

“The government announced a one-time funding payment — a transitional funding program which provided a payment to physicians to stabilize clinics and cover the fact that costs are rising faster than reimbursement,” he stated.

Alberta Health further explained the details in a statement, saying “The new compensation model will support family physicians in providing comprehensive patient care where they develop long-term relationships with their patients and ensure health care needs are met through all phases of a patient’s life. It will also incentivize family physicians to provide care for more patients – so more Albertans have a primary care provider.”

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