More people living in Ashcroft and surrounding communities have increased access to team-based health care with a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) opening Sept. 27, 2022.
The UPCC is at the same location as the old Ashcroft Hospital & Community Health Care Centre at 700 Ash-Cache Creek Highway.
“A new UPCC in Ashcroft will offer people increased access to the health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “With the support of local health-care teams and through community collaboration, we’re strengthening primary care services throughout the province. In Ashcroft, this means that more people can access same-day, everyday health care.”
The Ashcroft UPCC is gradually opening. It will first provide urgent primary care services, including connecting patients without a primary care provider to a family doctor or nurse practitioner.
Starting Sept. 27, the Ashcroft UPCC is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., with nursing and allied health teams providing team-based primary care services.
Urgent care services are available for people with non-life-threatening conditions who need to see a health-care provider within 12 to 24 hours but do not require an emergency department, such as sprains, cuts, high fevers and minor infections.
The primary care services available at the UPCC include diagnosis and treatment for minor illnesses, as well as provision of harm-reduction supplies and education, reproductive care, vaccinations and injections, early detection, guideline-based chronic disease management, and co-ordination of services, referrals to community services, pre- and post-surgical care, and ongoing monitoring, including of medication.
“Opening this UPCC in Ashcroft is the first of its kind in Interior Health to stabilize rural health care in a model that provides urgent primary care 12 hours per day close to home, while ensuring the network connection to Royal Inland Hospital when a higher level of care is required,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO, Interior Health. “I am also impressed with the recruitment of staff to support rural care; it indicates to me the passion health-care staff have for team-based rural medicine.”
The Ashcroft UPCC is the 29th UPCC announced under government's primary care strategy. It is the result of close collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Interior Health, the Interior Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice, and local First Nations partners. It is a part of the Interior Rural Primary Care Network, and will be owned and operated by Interior Health.
Dr. John Soles, physician lead, Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice –
“The Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice recognizes the need for medical care in rural and Indigenous communities to be comprehensive, accessible and equitable. In the current rural primary care environment, community-centred, team-based care models are most likely to achieve this. We wish the Ashcroft UPCC success in bringing health care closer to this goal.”
Michael Sandler, CEO, 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 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