New services and expanded hours at Island Health’s Comox Valley After Hours Urgent Care Clinic

People in the Comox Valley and surrounding regions will benefit from additional care providers, newly added services and expanded hours at Island Health’s Comox Valley After Hours Urgent Care Clinic.

“People living in the Comox Valley and surrounding areas will directly benefit from the expanded services and increased hours at the after hours urgent care clinic,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “These additions will also lighten impacts on the North Island hospital emergency department and reduce wait times for patients. We are dedicated to ensuring people throughout B.C. get the health care they need, where and when they need it.”

Beginning immediately, the clinic is offering expanded hours - Monday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and statutory holidays. This represents an additional 34 hours of clinic time per week compared to previous operating hours.

“With the addition of more care providers and longer clinic hours, we are continuing to expand access to urgent and primary care for people living in the Comox Valley,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health Board Chair. “I am deeply thankful for the contributions of the care providers and the ongoing support of our community partners, which has helped this clinic grow.”

The clinic is also adding:

  • 3 full time equivalent registered nurses
  • 2.7 full time equivalent physicians/nurse practitioners 
  • New social work and mental health services

“It’s great news that people will be able to better access health care as the Comox Valley After Hours Urgent Care Clinic adds more health-care providers, longer clinic hours and expanded services,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “With this additional capacity, more people in the Comox Valley region will receive timely care close to home, and enjoy a higher quality of life.”

All clinic services are located in the Comox Valley Nursing Centre at 615 10th Street. To book an appointment, call 250-331-8099. While this is not a walk-in service, the clinic offers same-day appointments whenever possible.

“Since May 2023, the Comox Valley After Hours Urgent Care Clinic has supported more than 3,200 patient visits,” said James Hanson, Island Health’s vice-president, Clinical Services, Acute Care North & Community Services. “The collaborative work between Island Health and our partners is benefitting patients and taking pressure off of our hospital by giving people a more appropriate option when they need urgent care but don’t require a trip to an emergency department.”

“We are grateful for the dedicated care that the clinic’s physicians, nurse practitioners and allied health staff provide to enhance access to healthcare and support for Comox Valley residents,” said Dr. Deni Hawley, Co-Chair Comox Valley Division of Family Practice. “Our collaborative work in expanding these services is a testament to the strength of our partnership with Island Health and our other partners in the Comox Valley Primary Care Network.”

The After Hours Urgent Care Clinic was established in 2021 by the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice, in partnership with Island Health, as a community response to expand access to evening and weekend urgent primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic. In May 2023, the clinic was relocated to the nursing centre and Island Health assumed ownership and operations.

As partners in the Comox Valley Primary Care Network, the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice, Island Health, local physicians and nurse practitioners – supported by the Family Practices Services Committee of the Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health – are continuing to develop and invest in the Comox Valley Primary Care Network. 

When to use the after hours urgent care clinic:

The clinic is for people who need non-emergency medical care within 12-24 hours including ailments such as:

  • cough and colds
  • fever
  • cuts, wounds or skin conditions, rashes
  • chest, ear or bladder infections
  • back pain
  • sprains and strains
  • headaches
  • minor injuries

When to use the emergency department:

  • immediate medical care
  • health crisis, serious illness or injury
  • chest pain
  • trouble breathing, shortness of breath
  • suspected stroke
  • overdose or poisoning
  • broken bones, dislocated joints
  • severe allergic reactions

If unsure, people can call 8-1-1 and speak with a nurse 24/7. HealthLink BC pharmacists are also on call at 8-1-1 when your community pharmacist may be unavailable — every night from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. Pacific Time. Further, community pharmacists can prescribe medications for minor ailments and contraception, including UTIs, allergies, pink eye and dermatitis. More information about pharmacy services in B.C.