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What you need to know about free health clinics and free health care in Alberta

Health Care Minister Shannon Phillips announced the province will begin providing free health services for the first time this fall, a move that comes just days after the provincial government passed a $12.2-billion health budget.

“Free health care is the first step in our strategy to create a safe and healthy Canada,” said Phillips in a release Tuesday.

“It’s a step in the right direction to help us make health a priority and build a better future for Albertans.”

The announcement comes after the province spent $2.4 billion on the federal health plan in its first year and $1.3 billion in its second year, and the province is set to spend an additional $1 billion over the next two years.

Phillips says she is working with health providers to get them on board with the free health plans.

“Albertans want to have access to health care,” said Dr. Michael Schulman, the province’s health minister.

“We’re going to be making sure that we’re getting them the best health care possible, so we’re going after the best providers to offer the best care.”

While there are still a number of rural and remote areas that lack health care services, Phillips says it’s important for the province to get these services to people who need it most.

“There’s no doubt that access to care is very important,” she said.

“People are desperate for care.”

Free health care plans will be available to all Albertans by Oct. 1.

In the meantime, you can sign up for a free health plan here.

You can read more about Alberta’s health budget and how it’s being spent on The Globe and Mail.