The Government of British Columbia is opening a new urgent primary care centre for West Shore communities to better connect local residents with the primary health care they need.
In making the announcement, Premier John Horgan said launching the West Shore centre is important for local communities, as almost one-in-five residents do not have a family health-care provider. Over time, it will attach approximately 5,300 people to health-care providers for their ongoing health needs, plus offer care on an urgent basis to people who already have care providers.
“People want the security of knowing the consistent health care they need is available in their community, and the West Shore centre will play a critical role in delivering that care,” said Premier Horgan. “It will connect thousands of West Shore residents with primary health-care teams, and be there for same-day care as an alternative to waiting in an emergency room. Urgent primary care centres are an important part of our plan to deliver better, faster health care for people across the region and around the province.”
When it opens on Nov. 5, 2018, the Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre will be the fourth of 10 urgent primary care centres opening around the province by spring 2019, and the first on the Island.
“The centre’s team-based approach will help families on the West Shore gain timely access to day-to-day health care, as a variety of health professionals will be available to provide care and help navigate services,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The changes we are making to our public health system will provide people with the care they need to stay healthy, manage their chronic conditions and recover from illness more quickly.”
The centre will have a team of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other health-care professionals, including a mental health and substance use clinician who will be an integral part of the centre’s care team. The clinician, working collaboratively with the broader care team, will offer same-day services for people living with mild to moderate mental health and/or substance use disorders.
“The Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre will make it easier for people with mental health and substance use challenges to ask for help once and get help fast,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Integrating these services into primary care means that people will be able to get the support they need, when they need it.”
“The West Shore is one of Vancouver Island’s largest growing populations, and many people are struggling to find a primary care provider,” said Leah Hollins, chair of Island Health’s board of directors. “The new West Shore centre will connect people to a multidisciplinary team, and is the foundation of our plans to improve care across the western communities.”
- The hours of the Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre will be daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- The centre will be located at 582 Goldstream Ave., near pharmacies, laboratory and diagnostic services, and 7.8 kilometres away from Victoria General Hospital.
- Over time, the urgent care clinic will be able to accommodate 128 unique patient visits per day and up to 40,000 visits a year.
- A variety of appointment options will be available, including one-on-one visits, appointments with multiple providers, telehealth visits and group appointments that support people with similar conditions.
- Annual staffing and operating costs are projected at approximately $4.45 million and capital costs are estimated at $3.44 million. The Capital Regional Hospital District has notionally committed 30% cost-sharing for this project in its 10-year capital plan.
- Approximately 19% of people living in the West Shore communities and area do not have a primary care provider.
- Mood, anxiety and depression are some of the most prevalent conditions identified in the West Shore. Of the West Shore population, 12% of people 74 and under have a mood disorder.
- To date, the community has had limited mental health and substance use services and supports.
- A total of 10 urgent primary care centres will be in operation throughout the province by spring 2019.
- In addition to these centres, the Province’s new primary health-care strategy, which is focused on providing all British Columbians with improved access to team-based health care, will see government fund and recruit 200 family doctors and 200 nurse practitioners, and hire 50 clinical pharmacists.
- Primary care is the day-to-day health care given by a health-care provider. Urgent primary care is the care that people need within 12-24 hours, for conditions such as sprains, urinary problems, minor cuts or burns.
- Around the province, 70% of communities will form primary care networks over the next three years. These networks will bring together and co-ordinate local health-care providers, services and programs, making it easier for people to access regular care providers, receive follow-up care and connect to other services they may need.
To learn more about the Province’s Primary Health-care Strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010
To learn more about the Province’s strategy to increase the number of nurse practitioners, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0034-000995
To learn more about the Province’s strategy to recruit and retain more family medicine graduates, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0052-001043