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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2020HLTH0235-001437
July 31, 2020
Ministry of Health
Island Health
Urgent and primary care centre coming to Esquimalt

ESQUIMALT – People living in Esquimalt and neighbouring communities will soon have better access to team-based everyday health care with planning for an urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) underway in the municipality.

“As part of our primary care strategy, we’re moving forward with a new urgent and primary care centre in Esquimalt to help connect more people with the team-based and comprehensive health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Thousands of area residents who currently lack a primary care provider will benefit from increased access to same-day appointments for urgent needs and ongoing primary care.”

The urgent and primary care centre, operated by Island Health, will open in a temporary space in late spring 2021. Once opened, the centre will provide extended hours of care with primary care providers supporting both attachment and access to services.

“This is great news for the community and the capital region as-a-whole,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin. “Not only will this urgent and primary care centre bring much-needed services to people in Esquimalt, but it will also help residents to be connected to a consistent primary care provider closer to home.”

Island Health is proceeding with an urgent and primary care centre to respond to increasing primary care needs resulting from the recent departure of family physician practices from the community. Island Health, the Esquimalt Township and South Island Division of Family Practice continue to work on additional longer-term primary care strategies for the community.

The urgent and primary care centre in Esquimalt will recruit general practitioners, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health clinicians to improve access to same-day care and provide ongoing primary care through booked appointments.

This is the 18th urgent and primary care centre to be announced under the government’s primary care strategy, fourth in the Island Health region.

The first centre is located in Langford and has surpassed 42,000 patient visits since opening in November 2018. The second centre in Nanaimo has served more than 30,500 patient visits since opening in September 2019. The third is in James Bay, Victoria, and has served over 2,350 patient visits since opening in April 2020. To further improve access to primary health-care services in the Island Health region, the Province has also established its first nurse practitioner primary care clinic in Nanaimo.

Quick Facts:

  • Primary care is the day-to-day health care given by a health-care provider.
  • Urgent primary care is the care that people need within 12 to 24 hours, for conditions such as sprains, urinary problems, ear infections, minor cuts or burns.
  • Urgent and primary care centres 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.

Learn More:

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.

 
Contacts:
 
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
 
Island Health
Communications
250 668-3098
 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER
For Immediate Release
2020HLTH0235-001437
July 31, 2020
Ministry of Health
Island Health
What people are saying about the Esquimalt UPCC

Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health –

“The urgent and primary care centre planned for Esquimalt will have a positive impact on all those living in the community and surrounding area who are looking for local, same-day access to health-care services. It will mean a team of health professionals working together at one location to provide same-day care and, for those who do not have a care provider, facilitate connections to primary care to better support their immediate and long-term care needs.”

Dr. Kathleen Ross, president, Doctors of BC –

“We look forward to the integration of the urgent and primary care centre in hopes it will strengthen primary care and ensure people in the community have access to the health-care services they need, while supporting a long-term relationship between patients and their family doctors.”

Michael Sandler, executive director, Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC –

“The Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC is pleased that the knowledge, skills and expertise of the entire health-care team will improve access to health care for British Columbians through urgent and primary care centres. 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 launch of another urgent and primary care centre in B.C.”  

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

“The South Island Division of Family Practice is pleased that one of the next urgent and primary care centres will open in Esquimalt. We hope to see a majority of the new resources and funding directed to longitudinal primary care: a 20-year-long crisis in our south island communities. As a key resource in advancing our primary care future within South Island Division communities, we look forward to working closely with our health authority, Ministry of Health, First Nations and patient partners through a meaningful stakeholder engagement process to ensure the Esquimalt UPCC delivers on its promise of improved local health-care services in line with community needs.”

 
Contacts:
 
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
 
Island Health
Communications
250 668-3098
 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect