Spine surgery referrals sent to Alberta Health Services’ Facilitated Access to Specialized Treatment (FAST) program are no longer being accepted in the Calgary Zone.

Effective Monday, June 3, the FAST program – a central access and intake initiative that is designed to improve referral and consultation processes as well as surgical wait times – began returning new referrals to providers in Calgary and the surrounding areas. Physicians, nurse practitioners and clinics are being asked to revert to their original process of sending those referrals directly to the spine clinic or surgeon of their choice, just as they did prior to the FAST launch in October 2022.

Referrals for all other non-urgent orthopedic surgical consults, as well as general surgery, urology, vascular surgery and adult gynecology (effective Monday, June 10), should continue to go through FAST. 

AHS leadership says the referrals for spine are being paused due to the limitations of clinics accepting spine referrals for consultation, and patient fees for uninsured services provided by the clinics.

Please reference the orthopaedics access pathway. It is not known if the change is temporary or permanent. Questions and concerns should be directed to the Calgary Zone FAST team at 1-833-553-3278 ext. 4 (Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.) or emailed to [email protected].

Gynecology added: Gynecology was the latest specialty added to FAST earlier this week. Please reference the adult gynecology pathway and the referral form.

More information.