People in Sooke now have better access to team-based primary care, with the opening of the newly expanded West Coast Family Medical Clinic.
The expansion of the West Coast Family Medical Clinic is a collaboration with local physicians, Island Health, the South Island Division of Family Practice, community organizations, such as the Sooke Region Community Health Initiative and Sooke Family Resource Society, and residents who attended public engagement events.
“People need reliable access to health care close to home,” said Premier John Horgan. “This new clinic will deliver primary health care for people in the fast-growing community of Sooke and the surrounding area. It is part of our government’s focus on helping people with the things that matter most.”
The new space includes annual incremental provincial funding of $1 million to support team-based care at the clinic. Island Health has overseen the renovations of the site and contributed approximately $600,000 in one-time capital funding to the renovation.
Five new health-care professionals will gradually join the team, which will include a total of 10 family physicians, three registered nurses, one nurse practitioner, a social worker, a registered dietitian and 11 medical office assistants. Most of the primary care resources will be brought on board by August 2020, with full staffing completed by January 2021.
The addition of team-based care increases the clinic’s capacity to offer primary care, newborn and post-partum care, non-emergency urgent care, palliative care and medical services for the Elders’ Wellness Clinic at the T’Souke Nation and long-term care in the community.
“Families in Sooke share government’s vision that better health is achievable through better access to primary health-care services,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The West Coast Family Medical Clinic expansion will have significant and lasting benefits for the individuals in Sooke who are unattached to consistent primary care.”
Recruitment is underway. When fully staffed, the West Coast Family Medical Clinic anticipates having the capacity to connect approximately 4,250 currently unattached patients to their primary care team and accommodate about 300 patient visits a day.
The West Coast Family Medical Clinic is normally open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Opening hours have been temporarily reduced to 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays as part of the clinic’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, all patients are asked to call or book online to receive a virtual care assessment first. If required, staff will arrange to follow up with patients in-person.
Expanding the West Coast Family Medical Clinic in Sooke reflects government’s commitment to strengthening health care in the region and around the province. In November 2018, the Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre in Langford opened its doors to enhance access to same-day and after-hours team-based care in the region.
Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health –
“Island Health is pleased to be a partner in the development and future operations of the West Coast Family Medical Clinic in Sooke. This team-based primary care clinic will enable more residents in this growing community to access a range of health-care services closer to home.”
Dr. Vanessa Young, board chair, South Island Division of Family Practice –
"The long-standing partnerships between the Sooke community, its dedicated physician group and Island Health have yielded a wonderful outcome for the residents of Sooke. This latest Sooke clinic expansion is yet another step forward in providing top quality, comprehensive primary care to the local population. The South Island Division of Family practice offers congratulations to all involved."
Dr. Anton Rabien, physician, West Coast Family Medical Clinic –
“It’s immensely satisfying to see this project come to fruition. All the stakeholders — the local physicians, Island Health, the South Island Division of Family Practice, Mayor Tait, the Sooke Primary Health Services Working Group, Premier Horgan and the Ministry of Health — have pulled together to make this clinic expansion a reality. I think we all share the belief that access to high-quality primary care is essential for the health of our communities.”
Maja Tait, mayor, District of Sooke –
"The clinic expansion and transition to a new service delivery model is the culmination of many years of work and commitment by numerous stakeholders. I am very proud to have been a part of this effort as the chairperson of the Sooke Region Primary Health Care Services Working Group since 2014 and would like to thank our members and partners, as well as residents who attended public engagement events. We are grateful to the Province for its response to our advocacy efforts and for investing in the health and well-being of our community. We look forward to continuing our work together.”
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.