People living in the Central Okanagan now have better access to team-based day-to-day public health care with the opening of the new Kelowna Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC).
“The Kelowna UPCC will help connect more people in Central Okanagan 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, as well being able to find a doctor or care provider for regular, ongoing primary care.”
The Kelowna UPCC is one of three centres now open in Interior Health. Fourteen UPCCs have been announced throughout B.C. under the government’s primary-care strategy. The Kelowna UPCC is a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Interior Health, the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice and the Doctors of BC. Interior Health also collaborated with the Westbank First Nation, patient partners and the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District to develop the UPCC.
The centre will provide urgent primary care for Central Okanagan residents by a team of health-care providers, including doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and office staff.
The centre will serve two purposes:
- 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 and who do not have or cannot access their family practitioner;
- 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 Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice. Unattached patients will be provided with ongoing wraparound care on an interim basis, while arranging for patients to be connected to other local practices for their care.
Net new clinical staffing includes 22 full-time equivalent practitioners, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, respiratory therapists and physiotherapists, working together to provide team-based care for patients.
The Kelowna UPCC is located at 1141 Harvey Ave.
This is the third UPCC to open in Interior Health, following the Vernon UPCC, which opened in October 2019, and the Kamloops UPCC that opened in June 2018. Since opening, the Vernon UPCC has had 1,274 patient visits and the Kamloops UPCC has had 20,810 patient visits.
B.C.’s UPCC locations can be viewed by visiting: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/bc-urgent-and-primary-care-centres.pdf
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
Two backgrounders follow.