Victoria residents who have struggled to find a family doctor will soon have a new option with a primary care clinic operated by nurse practitioners set to open on Sept. 28.
The 1139 Yates St. clinic, which will run similarily to a clinic led by family doctors, is the third of its kind in B.C. and the first in Victoria.
“We are implementing innovative ways to give people more access to primary health care services,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “These clinics will connect more people with the care they need, closer to home.”
Just like at a traditional clinic, patients can receive diagnosis, treatment, prescriptions and medical procedures, among other things.
Once fully staffed, Health Care on Yates will also provide support from a social worker and a mental health and substance use clinician.
Already, more than 550 patients and families have been registered to the new clinic, but over the next three years the Health Care on Yates team hopes to take on 6,800 people.
Anyone interested in registering at the clinic who lives within the catchment area — Victoria, Vic West, James Bay, Oak Bay, Oaklands and Fairfield — can apply through the Health Care on Yates website. However, the clinic has temporarily suspended its intake of new patients and asks people to check back on the website in early October to fill out a registration form.
When it launches on Sept.18, the clinic will be open for virtual care appointments Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Once renovations are complete, these hours will expand.
“The nurse practitioners and other staff are incredibly talented and committed to building a health centre that will not only respond to illness but will be integral to transforming health care for people in Victoria,” said Lynne Guengerich, clinic director of Health Care on Yates.
The clinic will be funded by the B.C. government with annual contributions of approximately $2 million when fully staffed and a one-time startup cost of $445,500.
The first nurse practitioner clinic in B.C. was opened in Nanaimo in June and the second in Surrey in September.
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