A new urgent and primary care centre in the works in Esquimalt could help fill a void many residents are facing when looking at health care options.
Operated by Island Health, the centre will open in a temporary space in late spring 2021. It will provide more access to services for local residents with extended hours of care and will recruit general practitioners, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health clinicians to improve access to same-day care and provide ongoing primary care through booked appointments.
“As part of our primary care strategy, we’re moving forward with a new urgent and primary care centre in Esquimalt to help connect more people with the team-based and comprehensive health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Thousands of area residents who currently lack a primary care provider will benefit from increased access to same-day appointments for urgent needs and ongoing primary care.”
The departure of family physicians from the community has resulted in an increase in primary care needs. Island Health, the Township of Esquimalt and the South Island Division of Family Practice are continuing to work on additional longer-term primary care strategies for the area. The December 2018 closure of the Esquimalt Treatment Centre left the community with one walk-in clinic to serve more than 17,000 people.
This is the fourth centre announced under the province’s primary care strategy for Island Health. The first, located in Langford, has had more than 42,000 patient visits since opening in November 2018. The second centre in Nanaimo has served more than 30,500 patient visits since opening in September 2019. The third in James Bay has seen more than 2,350 patient visits since opening in April.
“This is great news for the community and the Capital Region as a whole,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin. “Not only will this urgent and primary care centre bring much-needed services to people in Esquimalt, but it will also help residents to be connected to a consistent primary care provider closer to home.”
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