In an effort to increase access to primary medical care for Sooke residents without a family physician, the West Coast Family Medical Clinic is increasing the hours of its urgent care medical clinic.
Currently, the clinic operates a walk-in urgent care clinic from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 3 to 5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
Beginning July 4, these hours will be increased from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The clinic will now be closed Sunday.
A press release from the West Coast Family Medical Clinic’s eight physicians stated there is a growing number of families without a family doctor, and the doctors all have a full roster and not accepting new patients.
“It is hoped that these changes will improve access to primary medical care for those Sooke residents with a family physician, while at the same time maintaining the ability of the clinic physicians to meet their obligations of providing timely care to their registered patients,” the press release stated.
The clinic serves a population of more than 16,000, including residents from the Juan de Fuca electoral district.
And more than 800 people are on a wait list for a local physician, according to a recent report from the Sooke Region Primary Health Care Services Working Group. The doctor shortage is even greater in Colwood, Langford and Metchosin, says the South Island Division of Family Practice.