Esquimalt urgent and primary care centre opens at permanent location
Esquimalt's urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) opened at its new permanent location on Monday morning, a move that will increase accessibility and operating hours, according to the province.
The UPCC is now located at 890 Esquimalt Rd. and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
In June, the UPCC opened at a temporary location at the Esquimalt Health Unit at 530 Fraser St. Now, more patients will be able to use the UPCC at its permanent location on Esquimalt Road, which only recently finished construction.
"This is great news for people living in Esquimalt, whose health will be positively impacted from the expanded services and extended hours at the new home for our UPCC," said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin in a statement Monday.
UPCCs are intended to treat patients who require care within 12 to 24 hours for injuries like sprains and minor burns or cuts, or for conditions like ear infections or urinary problems that don't require an emergency department.
The urgent and primary care centres will also work to attach residents with family doctors or a nurse practitioner if they do not already have one, once it is fully staffed.
The Esquimalt Primary and Urgent Care Centre is shown: Dec. 6, 2021 (CTV News)
The province says there are approximately 11 full time health-care providers at the UPCC, with plans to add a dozen more staff members, including family physicians, registered nurses, social workers, and mental health and substance use counsellors.
"Not only will residents be able to get timely treatment at the clinic, but now, those who do not have a regular primary care provider can get help securing one," said Dean.
A shortage of family doctors has long plagued British Columbia.
Health care providers say they hope the permanent UPCC space will help fill in gaps for longitudinal primary ace in the South Island.