People living in northeast Vancouver will soon have better access to team-based everyday health care with the opening of a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) on Feb. 16, 2021, located at 102-2788 East Hastings St.
“The northeast Vancouver UPCC will help connect more people in Hastings Sunrise, Renfrew Collingwood and Cedar Cottage with the health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This means tens of thousands of area residents, including those living in poverty, families and seniors with complex care needs, who currently lack a primary care provider, will benefit from increased access to same day and ongoing primary care closer to home.”
The new UPCC will be operated by Vancouver Coastal Health. It was developed in collaboration with the Vancouver Division of Family Practice, regional program leads and Aboriginal program leads at Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care.
The centre will incorporate a team-based care approach through a health-care team that includes family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and allied health professionals, such as dietitians, social workers and counsellors, and support staff.
“This urgent and primary care centre shows our government’s continued dedication to improve the way people access the care they need when they need it most,” said Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. “It will bring meaningful change to the thousands of residents who do not have timely access to a family doctor or who need urgent care.”
A team of 16.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) health-care workers, including 3.23 FTE family physicians, 3.07 FTE nurse practitioners, 7.55 FTE registered nurses, 1.65 FTE social workers and one FTE clinical co-ordinator will provide urgent care services in the UPCC’s first year of operation. The team is also expected to have more than 27,000 patient visits.
Urgent care services will be for people who need health care within 12 to 24 hours, but do not require an emergency department, such as patients with sprains, cuts, high fevers and minor infections.
By January 2022, as the team expands and becomes fully operational, a full-service primary care services and patient attachment will be provided. At this time, the health-care team will work to reach an annual target of more than 47,000 patient visits in future years.
Over the next three years, the centre will work with the Vancouver Division of Family Practice to attach patients who do not have a family doctor to a regular primary care provider in the community. This includes attaching more than 3,500 patients to general practitioners or nurse practitioners at the UPCC. The centre will also provide care for unattached patients while working on connecting patients to other local practices for their ongoing primary care.
The centre will offer extended service hours and will be open Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday and statutory holidays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This is the 22nd UPCC to be announced under the government's primary care strategy. It is also the fourth to be announced in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. The UPCC in downtown Vancouver has had more than 59,705 patient visits since it opened in November 2018. Since opening in November 2019, the UPCCs in East Vancouver and North Vancouver have served more than 18,279 and 35,741 patient visits, respectively. The northeast Vancouver UPCC will also be part of the Vancouver northeast primary care network.
Vivian Eliopoulos, interim CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority –
“Vancouver Coastal Health is pleased to be a key partner in enhancing access to care for more people in our region. The new Vancouver Northeast Urgent and Primary Care Centre allows us to provide urgent health-care services to clients within their own community, as well as ongoing care and support when needed.”
Dr. Jay Slater, board chair and Dr. Fiona Duncan, physician lead, Vancouver Division of Family Practice –
“The Vancouver division is excited for this additional service for patients in Vancouver’s northeast communities. As an integral component of the implementation of primary care networks, the UPCC provides a place in the community for appropriate urgent services. The UPCC will play an important role in supporting family physicians to continue to provide high-quality primary care in the community, helping to serve the community’s needs and enhance care delivery, when and where patients need it.”
Dr. Matthew Chow, president, Doctors of BC –
“We look forward to the integration of the Vancouver Northeast UPCC in hopes it will strengthen primary care in the community. Doctors of BC has a strong interest in ensuring people have access to the health care services they need. We also emphasize the importance of measures that strengthen the long-term relationships between patients and their family doctor. These relationships have been shown to improve health outcomes, help avoid preventable illness and reduce the cost of health care.”
Michael Sandler, executive director, 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 clinics. 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 opening of another urgent and primary care clinic 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.