The province is launching Vancouver’s first urgent primary care centre on Monday, according to Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Dix made the announcement Sunday at the new $1.9 million City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre in the city’s West End.
The centre will provide “flexible and easily accessible option for primary care” to 35,000 nearby residents who do not have a primary care doctors, Dix said.
The centre is meant to take pressure off nearby hospitals, such as St. Paul’s Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital and is located at 1290 Hornby Street.
“We want people to get the care they need in their community, and not end up in emergency rooms,” Dix said.
“It’s connecting people to the system,” Dix said, noting that going to the centre will allow people with less critical issues to not sit in an emergency room for hours.
But, Dix added, “if you have a healthcare emergency, you go to the emergency room.”
The province said that about one-third of emergency room visits at St. Paul’s and VGH could be dealt with by the centre.
.@adriandix announces #Vancouver's first urgent primary care centre, and the 5th in the province.
Here's details about one that opened in #SurreyBC earlier this month, all as part of the province's primary care strategy.http://t.co/k3ZyiS4dMp@BlackPressMedia #bcpoli
— Kat Slepian (@katslepian) November 25, 2018
It will provide help to people struggling with “mild to moderate mental health and substance abuse” issues.
The centre is part of the province’s primary care strategy, which aims to see 10 of these centres opened up across B.C., to provide “team-based care” to British Columbians unable to find a family doctor.
Dix said that about 750,000 people around B.C. do not have a primary care practitioner.