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.
Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions –
“Too often, people living with mental-health and addictions challenges don’t have timely access to the services they deserve. Integrating mental-health and substance-use services into the Nanaimo Urgent and Primary Care Centre will reduce stigma and ensure people get the quality help they need – easier and faster.”
Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo –
“The Medical Arts Urgent and Primary Care Centre is an exciting step forward for the community of Nanaimo. I am especially looking forward to the added services and the team-based care approach that I know will make a big difference in the lives of residents, including my family.”
Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan –
“Comprehensive and patient-centred care is a much-needed service that connects patients with a network of health-care professionals, making sure their primary-care needs are met. I am proud that our government is taking action to provide that quality care to people in Nanaimo and throughout the province.”
Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health –
“This urgent and primary-care centre will be an important part of the network of care that serves the people of Nanaimo. The centre will connect people to an integrated team of professionals to provide them with the timely, appropriate care they need.”
Dr. Eric Cadesky, president, Doctors of BC –
“We look forward to the integration of the Nanaimo UPCC in hopes it will strengthen primary care in the community and ensure people have access to the health-care services they need while also supporting a longitudinal relationship.”
Dr. Roger Walmsley, board chair, Nanaimo Division of Family Practice –
“The division is thankful to our medical arts colleagues for participating in this innovation, and to the medical community for lending its voice in its development. We see tremendous opportunity in learning from the model as the network for patient care further evolves in Nanaimo.”
Gregory Simmons, administrator, Medical Arts Centre –
“The Medical Arts Centre has been a part of the community for nearly 100 years, and we’re very pleased to be collaborating with the Ministry of Health, Island Health and the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice to operate Nanaimo’s Urgent and Primary Care Centre.
- 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 to 24 hours, for conditions such as sprains, urinary problems, ear infections, minor cuts or burns.
- It is a component of the Province’s primary-care strategy to ensure people have faster and better access to the day-to-day health and team-based care they need.
- The primary-care 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.
- Throughout 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.
To learn more about the Province’s Primary Health-care Strategy, visit:
A backgrounder follows.