The provincial government has announced plans for an expanded primary care centre in Sooke.
The centre will be located in Evergreen Mall and involves a substantial expansion of services at the Westcoast Family Medical Clinic. The site is also already home to Life Labs Medical Laboratory Services.
The announcement was made at a press conference at Municipal Hall on Friday where Health Minister Adrian Dix said that the new centre will emphasize a team-based approach to health care that will improve health services to the region.
There is space for four more doctors and there will be an expansion of capabilities for diagnostic services.
The move comes following months of anticipation after an announcement in October that pledged additional support for primary health care in the community.
“We greatly appreciate the support of our MLA and Premier John Horgan and that of Health Minister Adrian Dix in improving health care availability in Sooke,” said Mayor Maja Tait.
“Primary health has been a priority for several years now with all of the members of the primary health community working together to address the health care gaps in the community.”
She noted the community has been working together and that a health-care development planning document was delivered to the Minister of Health last fall.
“We need auxiliary services like access to X-rays and other testing facilities in the community to meet the needs of our growing community. This announcement will go a long way to addressing some of those needs.”
Ten urgent primary care centres are expected to be opened in B.C. in the next 10 years. The Sooke care centre will join eight similar facilities that have already been built or announced in cities such as Surrey, Langford, Vancouver, Burnaby and Nanaimo.
Much like the planned expansion of the Westcoast Family Medical Clinic in Sooke, the clinics are designed to consolidate multiple health services and other programs under one roof in an approach called team-based care.