A new urgent primary health care centre opens in Victoria this spring.
On Monday afternoon, B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix announced the clinic would open at the James Bay Community Project at 547 Michigan St. in March 2020.
“The new urgent and primary care centre will help connect more people in Victoria with the health care they need, when they need it,” Dix said. “By increasing the number of publicly funded healthcare professionals in the community, thousands of people who currently lack a primary care provider will benefit from increased access to same-day appointments for urgent needs and improved access to regular, ongoing primary care into the future.”
The clinic will run on two separate avenues, urgent care for those who need to see a doctor but may not need to go to emergency, and primary care for those who do not have a family physician.
The clinic will host physicians, nurse practitioners and social workers who specialize in mental health and addictions, though the exact number of hires was not available from the province.
The clinic will also operate 365 days per year with extended hours, though the province could not supply how late the hours would run.
In the capital region, between 30-40,000 people do not have a family doctor or a nurse practitioner, leveling out to about one in six people without access to primary care.
“It will have a huge affect in the community,” Dix said. “It will serve people who have non-threatening conditions who need to see a healthcare provider urgently, and will provide full service primary care within 12-24 hour service for people who do not have a family physician or nurse practitioner, or for those who can’t see their family doctor quick enough.”
This will be the third primary care clinic in the region; the first was the urgent and primary care clinic in Langford, which opened in Oct. 2018 and has served more than 23,000 patients, while the second was opened in Nanaimo in June 2019.
“The urgent and primary-care centre planned for the James Bay Neighbourhood in Victoria will have a positive impact on all those living in the community,” said Leah Hollins, board chair of Island Health. “It will mean a team of health care professionals – physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and social workers – working together at one location.”
Exact dates for opening were not announced.