VICTORIA -- The West Coast Family Medical Clinic in Sooke has received a boost from the provincial government to help support local residents.

The clinic has completed a renovation and expansion which will allow more health staff to join the island health centre.

Hiring is now underway to add five new health-care professionals to the team. In total, the clinic will be home to 10 family physicians, three registered nurses, a nurse practitioner, 11 medical office assistants a registered dietitian and a social worker.

Once the clinic is fully staffed, it will be able to accommodate approximately 300 patient visits per day and provide services to roughly 4,250 people who currently do not have a primary care provider.

The added staff will help the clinic provide primary care, non-emergency urgent care, newborn and post-partum care and palliative care for the local community as well as the Elders' Wellness Clinic at the T'Souke Nation, says the province.

"People need reliable access to health care close to home," said B.C. Premier John Horgan in a statement Friday.

"This new clinic will deliver primary health care for people in the fast-growing community of Sooke and the surrounding area."

Island Health has provided roughly $600,000 in funding to help with the renovations. Going forward, the B.C. government will also provide $1 million in funding for the clinic annually.

The West Coast Family Medical Clinic, located at 1300-6660 Sooke Road, is currently open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays due to COVID-19. Ordinarily, the clinic is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Due to the pandemic, patients are currently being asked to call the clinic to book a remote assessment before attending the clinic. If an in-person appointment is required, staff will arrange a meeting following the remote assessment.

"Families in Sooke share government's vision that better health is achievable through better access to primary health-care services," said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

"The West Coast Family Medical Clinic expansion will have significant and lasting benefits for the individuals in Sooke who are unattached to consistent primary care."