A temporary urgent and primary care centre will open in Esquimalt this week, offering residents more health care options in their own community.
The centre’s temporary site in the Esquimalt Health Unit (530 Fraser St.) will open on June 14 before the permanent location opens in December. The temporary site will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, and will have a registered nurse, a registered nurse with certified practice, a mental health and substance-use consultant and two office staff.
A news release from the province said the centre will help patients with minor ailments, offer health screenings, have reproductive health services and support those with chronic conditions and mild to moderate mental health challenges. Those services will be by appointment only.
The permanent location is expected to extend operating hours to evenings and weekends. The centre will be able to treat patients who need to see a primary healthcare provider, but don’t require a trip to the emergency department or specialized services. The government release said the permanent centre staff will include family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, allied health professionals and office workers.
The permanent centre will also strive to attach patients to a family physician or a nurse practitioner. The province said, based on its data from 2019 to 2020, 3,500 Esquimalt residents – almost 19 per cent of the community’s population – don’t have a primary-care provider or clinic.
B.C.’s health minister said the permanent centre will be located at 890 Esquimalt Rd.
“It will help address gaps in everyday health care and support a long-term relationship between patients and their healthcare providers — bringing health care in this region closer to home,” said Adrian Dix.
Funding for the urgent and primary care centre is provided by the Ministry of Health and the Capital Regional Hospital District.
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