More people in Esquimalt and neighbouring communities will have better access to comprehensive team-based primary health care with the opening of a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) in its permanent location in December 2021.
“Today, we’re announcing a new UPCC coming to 890 Esquimalt Rd. that will help connect more people in this community with the team-based and comprehensive health care they need,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The centre will be a permanent fixture in the community. It will help address gaps in everyday health care and support a long-term relationship between patients and their health-care providers — bringing health care in this region closer to home.”
The UPCC will open in two phases to better provide urgent and primary care services to the people living in the region.
Starting Monday, June 14, 2021, the centre’s temporary site in the Esquimalt Health Unit at 530 Fraser St. will provide limited health-care services, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“This is a great new step for our community in Esquimalt,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin. “Better access to primary care is much needed, and I know that this new UPCC will connect more people with the team-based health care they need, when they need it."
It is anticipated that the health-care team at the temporary site will include a registered nurse, a registered nurse with certified practice, a mental health and substance-use consultant and two office staff. The team will provide services to patients with minor ailments, those who need health screening, reproductive health services and support for those with chronic conditions and mild to moderate mental-health challenges. Services will be provided by appointment only. For more information, visit: www.islandhealth.ca/our-locations/hospitals-health-centre-locations/esquimalt-urgent-primary-care-centre
“Embedding mental health and addictions care into UPPCs across B.C. is vital to removing stigma and barriers to care,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “I’m encouraged that, along with so many other B.C. communities, people in Esquimalt and the surrounding area will now be able to connect to the mental health and addictions supports they need and deserve.”
Once the centre opens in its permanent location in December 2021, hours of operation will be extended to include evenings and weekends, and it will offer a full range of comprehensive health-care services. This includes care to people who need to see a primary health-care provider and who do not require a trip to the emergency department or specialized services. The centre will be supported by a team of health-care professionals that is expected to include family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, allied health professionals and office staff.
As doctors and nurse practitioners are recruited, the UPCC will work to attach patients to a family physician or a nurse practitioner, either at the centre or in the community.
The UPCC will be leased and operated by Island Health, with capital funding provided by the Ministry of Health and the Capital Regional Hospital District.
To date, five urgent and primary care centres have been announced in the Island Health region, including in the Westshore, Nanaimo, James Bay, Esquimalt and North Quadra. The centre in Esquimalt will be part of the Western Communities Primary Care Network, announced in September 2020.
- Primary care is the day-to-day health care given by a health-care provider.
- UPCCs 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.
- Primary care networks were developed as part of B.C.’s primary care strategy to better meet the specific needs of the community and to strengthen high-priority services.
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.