People living in Esquimalt and neighbouring communities will soon have better access to team-based everyday health care with planning for an urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) underway in the municipality.
“As part of our primary care strategy, we’re moving forward with a new urgent and primary care centre in Esquimalt to help connect more people with the team-based and comprehensive 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 urgent and primary care centre, operated by Island Health, will open in a temporary space in late spring 2021. Once opened, the centre will provide extended hours of care 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 Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin. “Not only will this urgent and primary care centre bring much-needed services to people in Esquimalt, but it will also help residents to be connected to a consistent primary care provider closer to home.”
Island Health is proceeding with an urgent and primary care centre to respond to increasing primary care needs resulting from the recent departure of family physician practices from the community. Island Health, the Esquimalt Township and South Island Division of Family Practice continue to work on additional longer-term primary care strategies for the community.
The urgent and primary care centre in Esquimalt will recruit general practitioners, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health clinicians to improve access to same-day care and provide ongoing primary care through booked appointments.
This is the 18th urgent and primary care centre to be announced under the government’s primary care strategy, fourth in the Island Health region.
The first centre is located in Langford and has surpassed 42,000 patient visits since opening in November 2018. The second centre in Nanaimo has served more than 30,500 patient visits since opening in September 2019. The third is in James Bay, Victoria, and has served over 2,350 patient visits since opening in April 2020. To further improve access to primary health-care services in the Island Health region, the Province has also established its first nurse practitioner primary care clinic in Nanaimo.
- 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.
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.