People living on the North Shore will soon have better access to team-based everyday health care with the opening of the new North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC).
“The North Vancouver UPCC will help connect more people in North Vancouver and the surrounding communities with the health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Thousands of area residents who currently lack a primary care provider will benefit from increased access to same day appointments for urgent needs and ongoing primary care.”
The North Vancouver UPCC is the third UPCC to be announced for Greater Vancouver and the 10th to be announced in B.C. under the government’s primary care strategy. The new UPCC will be operated by Vancouver Coastal Health. Partners include the Ministry of Health, the North Shore Division of Family Practice and Seymour Health Group, and with support of Squamish Nation and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.
The centre will provide urgent primary care with more than 35,000 patient visits each year by 2023 by a team of health-care providers, including doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and office staff. The centre will serve two purposes: one is to provide care for people with non-life-threatening conditions who need to see a health-care provider within 12 to 24 hours but don’t require an emergency department.
The second purpose will be to help attach patients to a regular primary care provider. To facilitate this, the centre will attach patients to health-care providers in the community in collaboration with the North Shore Division of Family Practice and will provide ongoing wrap-around care for unattached patients on an interim basis while they arrange for patients to be connected to other local practices for their longitudinal care.
“This new urgent and primary care centre is something that people on the North Shore really need and I thank all of our community partners for working collaboratively for a facility that will meet local residents public health-care requirements quickly, which is great,” said Bowinn Ma, North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA.
Net new clinical staffing includes more than 14 full-time practitioners, including general practitioners, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and social workers. It will be fully operational and welcoming patients by mid-to-late September 2019, as the on-site renovations are completed.
The clinic’s location is on the second floor of 221 Esplanade West, North Vancouver, with proximity to the main transit line and close to the Lonsdale Quay transit hub, which is one block away from the Squamish Nation community. The location in the Lower Lonsdale area will allow for quick linkage and access to Vancouver Coastal Health services, including home and community care, public health and ambulatory care.
This UPCC is situated in the North Vancouver central region but will serve all North Shore residents and visitors, including North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Bowen Island/Lions Bay.
Yasmin Jetha, vice-president, Community Services, Vancouver Coastal Health –
“We’re building a more convenient health-care system that responds to the needs of our patients. By having a team of health-care professionals, including doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and social workers, all at the same location providing same-day care, the North Vancouver Primary and Urgent Care Centre will provide a real solution for people on the North Shore. For residents seeking local access to responsive health care services, this will make a big difference in their lives.”
Dr. Kathleen Ross, president, Doctors of BC –
“We look forward to the integration of the UPCC in hopes it will strengthen primary care in the North Vancouver area and ensure people there have access to the health-care services they need, while also supporting a longitudinal relationship.”
Dr. Dedeshya Holowenko, board chair, North Shore Division of Family Practice –
“The North Shore Division of Family Practice is excited to be celebrating the opening of the new Urgent Primary Care Centre in North Vancouver. We want to thank the ministry, Vancouver Coastal Health and the many people behind the scenes that have been involved in bringing this centre to the North Shore.”
Jacqollyne Keath, board chair, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC –
“Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC are pleased to see that the knowledge, skills and expertise of the entire health-care team will be utilized to improve access to health care for all British Columbians through urgent and primary care centres. We believe that this approach will be pivotal in ensuring B.C. families can access health-care services, and we are excited to see the launch of another urgent and primary care centre in B.C.”
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
A backgrounder follows.