The Kamloops Urgent Primary Care and Learning Centre (UPCLC) will provide people a new option for timely primary care when it opens, announced Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
“One in seven people in Kamloops don’t have a doctor or primary care provider, and many people living in B.C. are unable to get same-day or next-day appointments with their primary-care providers,” said Dix. “The Kamloops Urgent Primary Care and Learning Centre is going to make a real difference, by using a team-based model of care, to provide greater access to day-to-day care.”
Patients will be able to see a range of health-care providers, depending on their needs, as the UPCLC will be staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals and staff, ranging from family doctors, physiotherapists, to nurses. The centre will also be integrated into a local network of health-care providers, services and programs, making it easier for people to receive follow-up care and access to other services they may need.
“It’s important for patients to have access to care when they or their family member have a non-emergency, but urgent primary health-care need,” said Doug Cochrane, Interior Health board chair. “Interior Health is proud to offer a quality centre, where people will be able to see a doctor or another health professional within 24 hours.”
Located at 311 Columbia St., on the street-front of Royal Inland Hospital’s Clinical Services Building, the centre will begin by opening in the evenings, seven days a week, in June 2018. After it is fully operational in the fall of 2018, it will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., year-round, with rolling 24-hour appointment booking. Referrals will be accepted from physicians, nurse practitioners and other community clinicians, plus patients can self-refer.
In the fall, the centre will also open its Family Practice Learning Centre, which will have resident doctors working under the supervision of experienced physicians. This partnership will see the University of British Columbia expand its family medicine resident-training program in the Interior. This initiative will also provide residents the opportunity to start building a practice locally.
“When we provide family medicine residents an opportunity to practice in Kamloops, we increase the likelihood they will stay in the area to work on an ongoing basis. The UPCLC offers a supportive environment to gain experience and to care for patients. It will attract our next generation of primary-care doctors,” said Dr. Selena Lawrie, who is a clinical instructor with the UBC faculty of medicine’s department of family practice, and an Interior Health board member.
“The Urgent Primary Care and Learning Centre gives people in the Kamloops area another alternative for accessing the care they need. The Thompson Regional Hospital District is pleased to support this new centre, and we look forward to seeing how it will help residents in Kamloops and the surrounding region,” said Ken Christian, chair of the Thompson Regional Hospital District.
The new Kamloops UPCLC was created through a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Interior Health, the Thompson Regional Hospital District, the Thompson Region Division of Family Practice, and the UBC faculty of medicine’s department of family practice. As well, local Aboriginal health leaders and patient representatives from Patient Voices Network lent their wisdom and experience to the project.
The capital cost of this project was $3.4 million, with $1.36 million coming from the Thompson Regional Hospital District.
The Kamloops UPCLC is one of 10 urgent primary-care centres that are planned for British Columbia, with the Surrey centre announced on June 7, 2018. All of centres will be open in the next 12 months, and are a key part of the Province’s new primary health-care strategy, which is focused on improving services for patients through team-based care. The strategy will see government fund and recruit 200 family doctors and 200 nurse practitioners, and hire 50 clinical pharmacists to help provide all British Columbians with faster and improved access to health care.
To learn more about the Province’s Primary Health-care Strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010
To see a tour of the Kamloops Urgent Primary Care Centre, visit: https://youtu.be/M_3YRIuCwBg
To learn more about the Surrey Urgent Primary Care Centre, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0043-001138
To learn more about the Province’s strategy to increase the number of pharmacists in primary care, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0055-001118