Physician On-Call Programs

The Physician On-Call Programs include the following groups:

  • Specialist On-Call
  • Specialized On-Call
  • Rural On-Call
  • Rural GP with Special Skills.


Specialist On-Call and Specialized On-Call

POCP provides funding for eligible and regionally mandated Specialist On-Call programs where the physician:

  • Is on-call to see new patients for other services.
  • Provides emergency specialist care, typically in an acute-care setting.

Specialist On-Call and Specialized On-Call physicians must meet thresholds for numbers of direct attendances to patients after hours. After hours are defined as 17:00 hrs-07:00 hrs on weekdays and any time on weekends and statutory holidays.

Rural On-Call

Rural On-Call funding is in place where:

  • Rural physicians are available to provide rural emergency on-call services at eligible facilities.
  • There is general public emergency on-call coverage 24 hours a day.
  • The emergency department is not staffed by full-time physicians.
  • There are fewer than 25,000 unscheduled visits annually.

General information

  • Programs applying for on-call funding must complete and submit call logs for at least one month.
  • Programs will not duplicate services provided by other eligible on-call programs.
  • Second on-call programs will be considered but must demonstrate their essential nature.
  • To promote a safe and healthy environment, no single physician will be eligible to receive more than 0.7 FTE in funding from a single program.

Apply for the program

Zone medical directors distribute the funding for this program. Start the application process by contacting your zone medical director. Find your Zone Medical Director

To find contact information for medical directors:
Use the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta Physician Search

Current payment levels

This section includes payment information as of May 1, 2020, when payment levels were last set.

Program remuneration (as of May 1, 2020)


Hourly stipend

On-Site Call


Off-Site Call


Rural On-Call


Rural GP with Special Skills



Prior to October 1, 2019, the POCP had five call categories – four specialist on-call (SOC) levels and one for rural on-call (ROC). The SOC levels included:

  • A: Respond immediately
  • B1: Respond in less than an hour
  • B2: Respond within 1 to 4 hours
  • B3: Respond between 4 hours and the end of the call shift

Effective October 1, 2019, AHS changed the number of physician on-call categories from five to three and reduced the hourly stipend amount. As of May 1, 2020, there are four (4) levels of remuneration. The on call categories are now On-Site, Off-Site, Rural and RGPSS.

The total number of programs across the province remained the same. More specifically:

  • Specialist on-call (SOC) programs formerly categorized as Levels A and B1 have been combined into a new category of On-Site Call with an hourly stipend of $21. Expected response times for On-Site Call are immediately to less than an hour depending on the urgency of the patient care situation.
  • SOC program formerly categorized as Levels B2 and B3 have combined into a new category of Off-Site Call with an hourly stipend of $11.50. Expected times for Off-Site Call are within greater than one hour to the end of the call shift depending on the patient care situation.
  • Rural on-call (ROC) remains a separate call category with a new hourly stipend of $23.00 and the stipend for Rural GP with Special Skills is $20.00.

Alberta Medical Association Mission: Advocate for and support Alberta physicians. Strengthen their leadership in the provision of sustainable quality care.