First urgent primary care centre opens in Vancouver
Vancouver: Residents in Vancouver’s downtown and West End now have improved access to team-based urgent primary care with the opening of the City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre.
This is the fifth urgent primary care centre to open in the province under the government’s primary care strategy and the first in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
“This centre will help better connect local residents with the primary care they need,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This includes addressing the challenge many face in getting same same-day or next-day appointments. By being available for extended hours and on weekends, the urgent primary care centre will help people access the health-care services they need at the right time, and lessen demand on area emergency departments.” The centre officially opens on Monday, Nov. 26, Located between St. Paul’s Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), it is for people with non-life-threatening conditions who need to see a healthcare provider within 12-24 hours but don’t require the level of expertise found in emergency departments. Approximately one-third of visits to the emergency departments of St. Paul’s and VGH, respectively, could be dealt with in alternative settings, including an urgent primary care centre. In consultation with the Vancouver Division of Family Practice, Vancouver Coastal Health is partnering with Seymour Health Centre to deliver urgent primary care services at this centre. Through this service model, unattached patients seen at the urgent primary care centre can be connected to primary care providers who will be co-located on-site, as well as providers within the community for ongoing care, starting in January 2019. The Seymour Health Centre has been delivering primary care in Greater Vancouver for more than 80 years.
“Each of our urgent primary care centres is designed to best meet the needs of the community and patient population it serves. For this centre, the health authority is leveraging a strong partnership with a service provider to provide team-based patient-centred care,” Dix said.
The team-based centre will provide care for approximately 35,000 unique patient visits for those in the downtown core and West End every year. Doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and medical office assistants will work together to address their patients’ health-care needs in one setting. The team will work to ensure individuals with complex health needs who don’t have a doctor are connected with the most appropriate care. Starting in January 2019, the urgent primary care centre will work with the Vancouver Division of Family Practice to begin attaching 10,000 patients a year to a primary care provider in the community. Under the government’s primary care strategy, 10 urgent primary care centres will be open around the province by spring 2019.
Bob Chapman, director, Vancouver Coastal Health said: “In addition to the extended hours for accessing urgent primary care, city centre and West End residents will find basic lab, diagnostic imaging and a pharmacy on site, as well as access to mental-health and substance-use services.”