First ur­gent pri­mary care cen­tre opens in Van­cou­ver

Asian Journal - - WORLD -

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.”

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