Media Contacts

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)

Island Health

250 716-7750


What people are saying about the Esquimalt UPCC

Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health –

“The Esquimalt urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) will support health and wellness in the community by bringing together family physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health clinicians. The pandemic has highlighted the need for care closer to home, and we applaud the Province for moving this important work forward to meet the health and care needs of individuals, families and ultimately, communities.”

Dr. Matthew Chow, president, Doctors of BC –

“We look forward to the integration of the Esquimalt 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, Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC –

“Nurses and nurse practitioners of B.C. 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 UPCCs. 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 UPCC clinic in B.C."

Denise Blackwell, chair, Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) –

“The CRHD is proud to contribute to this project as part of our commitment to improving and sustaining health infrastructure in the region. This funding has helped create more urgent primary care options that are needed in our communities.”

Dr. Vanessa Young, chair, South Island Division of Family Practice –

“We are pleased that the Esquimalt UPCC now has a confirmed location. We anticipate that this UPCC, along with other UPCCs in Victoria and the western communities, will help improve access and eventual attachment for many currently unattached patients who are best served by full-service, team-based primary care. The South Island Division of Family Practice will continue to play a key role in advancing our primary care future within South Island Division communities, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with patient partners, First Nations, Island Health and the Ministry of Health to improve local health-care services in line with community needs.”

Dr. Katharine McKeen and Dr. Tim Troughton, co-chairs, Victoria Division of Family Practice – 

“Our hope is that the new Esquimalt UPCC will be focused on building strong and lasting relationships between patients and primary care providers. We look forward to working closely with all our partners to continue to address community needs and improve access to regular, ongoing care as well as urgent same-day and after-hours care.”

Margaret Scott-Peters, patient partner –

“As an Esquimalt resident and patient partner, I welcome a new UPCC in our community with broad hours and a team of health-care professionals to meet our many diverse needs. It’s exciting to envision a new primary care model in which we’ll have access to doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers and other health professionals who can work together to improve the health of our population. This ongoing, comprehensive care will support people to achieve better health and reduce pressures on hospital emergency departments some distance away.”

Esquimalt UPCC

Based on 2019-20 Ministry of Health data, there are approximately 3,500 Esquimalt residents not attached to a primary care provider or clinic, or approximately 18.7% of the population.

The most prevalent chronic conditions in Greater Victoria are mood and anxiety disorders, depression, hypertension and asthma.

Highlights of the urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) once it opens in its permanent location:

  • Improved access to care through extended weekend and evening hours.
  • Extended hours of operations, seven days a week.
  • People can self-refer for their urgent and primary care needs. Patients can also be referred by community service providers, other health-care professionals and agencies.
  • People can also schedule appointments. During busy periods, appointments will be prioritized based on urgency.
  • Patients requiring laboratory testing beyond the simple specimen collection will be provided with requisitions for lab tests to be completed at nearby laboratories.
  • The permanent location is approximately 344 square metres (3,700 square feet) and will include a reception, waiting area, exam rooms, counselling rooms, office spaces and a multi-purpose room.
  • Once fully operational, the Western Communities Primary Care Network, which the Esquimalt UPCC will be part of, will provide a full range of accessible, everyday health services that will better support patients and providers.