After much anticipation, the new healthcare facility is expected to be completed around October, said resident Evergreen Medical Centre doctor Robin Saunders.
“We’ve been wanting to open a clinic for a very long time. Basically we’d like to join together all the physicians in Sooke and we think that would provide a better service but also provide a better working environment for us as well,” said Saunders.
“We’re trying to form what’s called an interdisciplinary clinic so that we’ll have both nursing care and physicians and specialists visiting the clinic as well.”
Part of that better service means no longer having to remember which of Sooke’s two existing clinics are open on which day, as is the case with the current staggered schedule for the walk-in clinics.
All six medical doctors in town, from both the Evergreen Medical Centre as well as Harbour Family Medical Clinic, will be under one roof:
Dr. J. Ellen Anderson
Dr. Tracy Forserg
Dr. Jeff Pocock
Dr. Anton Rabien
Dr. Robin Saunders
Dr. Tomas Vally
“This is not a new plan — it’s been coming for a long time. We’ve had a lot of options, going down various pathways and this is the one that has come to fruition.”
The new 6,500 sq. ft. facility will be located in Evergreen Centre at the former Shoppers Drug Mart building (next to Subway), and will be state-of-the-art featuring a fully computerized office.
There will be more services available to patients as well. Saunders described it as “one stop shopping,” with additional nursing staff on hand as well as a social worker and a dietician. While not a hospital, it will be the next best thing to commuting 35 minutes to Victoria General for minor care.
Besides the above improvements, the most important function the new and improved clinic will serve is to attract new talent.
“(We will) have something better to offer new physicians who maybe want to come to town so we can recruit them, because we are desperately short of physicians,” said Saunders.