CPSA’s role in Alberta’s healthcare system
CPSA is the regulator for physicians and physician assistants in Alberta. Much like it is a provincial registry’s role to make sure anyone with a driver’s licence is safe to be on the road, we issue practice permits to physicians and physician assistants, ensuring they are qualified to provide the best care possible to their patients.
CPSA has been around for over 100 years and through the many changes that come with time, our priority has remained the same: to protect Albertans by guiding the medical profession.
Virtual Care FAQs for Albertans
Whether you currently receive or are curious about receiving care from your doctor virtually, you may have questions.All FAQs
How do I find out what will happen with my personal health information?
If you’re using an online service or app, take the time to read and understand the privacy
policy. Typically, you will be asked if you agree to the terms and conditions of the policy
when you sign up. The best privacy policies are written in plain language. If it’s too
technical and difficult to understand, you might want to reconsider using the service.
Your doctor should also tell you if your information will be shared with any other healthcare
professionals or used for any purposes other than your care.
I have questions about virtual care. Who can I talk to?
Anyone who wants to know more about virtual care can review our standard of practice, outlining our expectations of physicians providing this care, or our advice document for Albertans on virtual care.
For more information, contact Chantelle Dick, Standards of Practice Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should I tell my family doctor that I’m also receiving care from a doctor by virtual care?
Patients have the best outcomes when their care is coordinated, so it’s a good idea to tell your primary doctor if you’re receiving care or advice from any other doctor, regardless of format or location. It’s likely the doctor providing virtual care will ask you the name of your primary doctor to keep them informed about your care. You can also ask for a summary of your care and provide it to your primary doctor yourself. That way, your doctors will better understand your medical needs and coordinate their care for you.
What should I do if I have concerns about the care I’m receiving?
Anyone with concerns about the care provided by an Alberta physician can file a complaint. If the care was provided by a doctor who is not licensed in Alberta, we can help direct you to the appropriate regulatory body.
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FAQs from Albertans
Looking for more Albertan FAQs? Visit our FAQ page and filter by "Albertans"All FAQs
Are there registration fees for physician assistants (PAs)?
Yes, PAs will have to pay:
- A one-time registration fee of $400.00
- A practice permit annual fee of $537.50
Do military physician assistants (PAs) have to register with CPSA?
If a PA in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is seeing civilian patients in Alberta, they must register with CPSA.
If I complain about my physician, will my medical records be accessed?
CPSA must have access to patient information and records to properly investigate a complaint, and the physician involved in the care outlined in the complaint must also have access to this information to respond to the complaint.
All complainants are asked to sign a consent form allowing for the access and release of applicable patient records and medical information when a complaint is filed.
Patient privacy is taken very seriously. Any health information gathered as part of a complaint investigation is done so in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Health Information Act.
What is the role of CPSA’s Complaints Director?
Under the Health Professions Act, the Complaints Director is delegated broad authority with respect to the complaints process, including but not limited to:
- Determining what action to take when a complaint is received.
- Making recommendations regarding interim suspensions or interim practice conditions.
- Conducting investigations or appointing an investigator to conduct an investigation, and making a determination about the complaint based on the results.
- Preparing written reasons if a complaint is dismissed.
- Presenting evidence and making submissions to a Hearing Tribunal.
- Making submissions at an appeal to CPSA Council or to the Alberta Court of Appeal.
The Complaints Director is not available to respond to general complaint inquiries.
Who do I speak with about concerns regarding care from a non-physician or facility?
Concerns about the care provided by a physician assistant can be directed to CPSA as they fall under our regulation.
For questions or concerns about care provided by non-physicians and/or standards of accommodation received by a patient in a hospital, nursing home, non-hospital surgical facility or community program administered by, or under contract to, Alberta Health Services or Covenant Health, contact the AHS Patient Relations Department or Covenant Health, depending on the facility. If the concern is regarding a privately owned facility, then please contact the management of the facility directly.
You may also contact the regulatory authority (e.g. Alberta College of Pharmacy for pharmacists) of an individual healthcare provider involved.
Have a concern with your physician?
Before you file a formal complaint:
- Did you talk to your physician?
- Did you talk to a responsible employee where you were treated?
- Did you take a look at our FAQs?
Safety is at the core of what we do.
Whether it’s verifying a physician’s qualifications, implementing clear practice standards, or providing education and support to physicians so they can improve the care they provide, everything we do is guided by our mandate to protect the public.
Albertans deserve high-quality health care and CPSA is here to make sure they get it.