New Urgent Primary Care Centre to open in Vancouver on Monday

The first of B.C.’s new Urgent Primary Care Centres to be located in Vancouver is set to open its doors.

The West End facility, located at 1290 Hornby St., will open officially on Monday, and be the fifth such care centre to open in the province and the first in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

B.C.’s NDP government pledged the new facilities as a part of a province-wide overhaul of the healthcare system. They are intended to provide same-day access to physicians and nurses, while taking stress off of hospitals.

The province says the new Vancouver centre is intended for people with non-life threatening conditions who need medical attention within 12-24 hours, but aren’t in need of ER treatment.

It says about one-third of visits to the St. Paul’s Hospital emergency room are patients of this nature.

The centre will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

It will be operated as a partnership between Vancouver Coastal Health and the Seymour Health Centre.

The province says that model will allow unattached patients who are seen at the centre to be connected to primary care providers on site, or referred to providers in the community for ongoing care, starting in 2019.

It says the centre will handle about 35,000 patients every year, using a “team-based” model in which doctors, nurses and medical office assistants work together in one environment.

It will also offer basic lab and diagnostic imaging services.

The Ministry of Health estimates the centre will cost $3.7 million per year to operate, and cost $1.9 million to get started.

Starting in January, the centre will also work with the non-profit Vancouver Division of Family Practice to help connect 10,000 people with a primary care provider in their community.

Earlier this month, the province opened another Urgent Primary Care Centre in Surrey, located at 9639 137A Street.

Other centres have opened in Kamloops, the Victoria area and Quesnel.

The province is aiming to open 10 urgent primary care centres around B.C. by spring, 2019.

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