People living in Victoria will soon have better access to team-based everyday health care with the opening of the city’s first urgent and primary care centre (UPCC).
“The new urgent and primary care centre will help connect more people in Victoria with the health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “By increasing the number of publicly funded health-care professionals in the community, thousands of people who currently lack a primary care provider will benefit from increased access to same-day appointments for urgent needs and improved access to regular, ongoing primary care into the future.”
The urgent and primary care centre will be operated by the Island Health Authority, which has leased space at the James Bay Community Project, 547 Michigan St., and has started renovations. Expected to open in March 2020, the UPCC will provide extended hours of care 365 days a year, with primary care providers supporting both attachment and access to services.
“This is great news for the community and the capital region as a whole,” said Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “Not only will this urgent and primary care centre bring much needed services to Victoria, but it will also help to reduce congestion at the emergency departments in our region.”
The urgent and primary care centre in James Bay will recruit general practitioners, nurse practitioners, nurses and mental health and substance-use clinicians to improve access to same-day care and provide ongoing primary care through booked appointments. Using a team-based care approach, once fully operational, it is estimated the centre will provide tens of thousands of patient visits per year.
This is the 14th urgent and primary care centre to be announced under the government’s primary care strategy and the third in the Island Health authority’s region. The first centre is located in Langford and has served more than 23,000 patient visits since opening in October 2018. The second centre opened in Nanaimo in June 2019 and is expected to serve up to 25,000 patient visits per year.
The new James Bay health centre is the former site of Whiteye Community Health Centre. The two general practitioners from the former clinic have relocated to the Yates-Quadra Medical Clinic downtown taking their patients with them. All patients were notified by the physicians. There were no service disruptions. Island Health has assumed the lease and operational responsibilities for this clinic.
- 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.
- Urgent and primary care centres are part of a comprehensive strategy to transform B.C.’s health system by bringing together and co-ordinating with health-care providers, services and programs to make it easier for people to access care, receive followup and connect to other services they may 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.
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.