Urgent and primary-care centre coming to Nanaimo

The Province, together with local partners, is establishing the Medical Arts Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Nanaimo to give people in the region increased access to team-based primary care.

“This urgent and primary-care centre is a real solution that will increase and improve access to care including on evenings and weekends, using a team-based care solution and supporting attachment of patients who need a primary-care provider,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We know that many people in Nanaimo find it difficult to receive the adequate, quality health-care services they need. More than 15,500 people in the region do not have a primary-care provider and for those who do, same-day access is often impossible to get.”  

In collaboration with Island Health and the Medical Arts Centre, the Province is expanding the existing Medical Arts Centre clinic to provide wraparound team-based care to people of Nanaimo and surrounding communities. This will include adding to the current staffing complement, which consists of doctors, licensed practical nurses and a nurse practitioner.

It is expected that there will be more than 14 new full-time equivalent health-care providers, including four doctors, in addition to registered nurses, mental-health and substance-use clinicians, social workers, a pharmacist and medical office staff. The annual incremental operating cost of the centre will be approximately $2.7 million.

Using this team-based approach, the urgent and primary-care centre will offer additional same-day appointments and extended hours of operation, and will provide focused rapid access and co-ordinated services for frail seniors and people in need of mild to moderate mental-health and substance-use treatment. The centre will work with the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice and Island Health to facilitate attachment for residents seeking a patient-centred primary-care provider. The centre is expected to offer the full range of services in early June 2019.

“Team-based care that addresses the needs of the community will soon become the pillar of our new primary-care system, and it will be how everyone in Nanaimo and across the province access the everyday health care they need,” said Dix. “The urgent and primary-care centre in Nanaimo is a first step for the community, and we have the vision to expand and transform this centre into a full primary-care network in the future.”

Located on South Terminal Avenue in the Port Place mall, the Medical Arts Urgent and Primary Care Centre will be open seven days a week to support up to 25,000 additional patient visits per year.

This is the seventh urgent and primary-care centre (UPCC) to be announced in British Columbia under the government’s primary-care strategy and the second one to open on Vancouver Island. The Westshore Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Langford opened in November 2018.

Read the full release here.