Patients searching for family doctor at new Langford care centre leave disappointed
There was confusion on opening day of a new urgent primary care facility on the West Shore Monday morning.
More than a dozen people waited in line before the Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre opened its doors for the first time at 8 a.m.
But some of those people were frustrated to learn that they would not be able to find a new family doctor at the centre – at least for now.
"It's just purely an urgent care walk-in clinic," said Wendy Wilson. "I asked if there was a waiting list, no they don’t have a waiting list. I asked if they knew when the prospective pod is going to open for doctors, the answer was no, they don't know that but it won't be until the new year for sure."
Wilson said she was hoping to find a family doctor for her three-year-old grandson as well as herself.
"I had a brain tumour taken out a year ago June, and I'm getting older. I need care," she said.
When it was announced early last week, the province said the new urgent primary care facility in Langford would better connect locals with health care providers.
Such facilities are meant to consolidate multiple health care providers, services and other programs to employ "team-based" care, meaning doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other professionals work in conjunction with one another.
A total of 10 urgent primary care centres are expected to be opened in B.C. in the next 10 years. Facilities have already been announced for Surrey, Quesnel and Kamloops.
Langford Mayor Stew Young welcomed the new care centre saying about one-third of West Shore's population do not have a family doctor.
The province says the new West Shore facility will eventually be able to accommodate 128 patients per day and up to 40,000 visits a year.
But for now, it appears a few residents will have to wait until next year to find a general practitioner.
"I would say a third of the people that were in this line-up were not here for care for today, they were looking for a doctor," said Wilson. "I was hopeful. Foolish of me, but I was hopeful."