A new health-care option in Victoria is now open to people seeking immediate treatment.
A new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) opened at the Gorge Road Hospital long-term care home (63 Gorge Rd. East) on Monday (Sept. 19).
The centre is providing a limited number of appointments as it goes through a gradual opening, the province said. Hiring more staff is an ongoing process, but the centre will eventually have about 23 full-time equivalent (FTE) health-care providers.
Those positions will include general practitioners, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, mental-health and substance-use clinicians, nursing unit aides and social workers. They’ll offer care such as minor illness diagnosis and treatment, providing harm-reduction supplies and education, reproductive care, vaccinations and injections, early detection, chronic disease management, referrals to community services and pre- and post-surgical care.
“Our inter-professional team will offer comprehensive longitudinal care to families and people in our community, and it will be a great opportunity to work with the other UPCCs in Victoria to increase access to care,” said Dr. Tia Pham, Island Health’s medical lead at the Gorge site.
The province said the centre will attach itself to patients in an aim to ensure they’re provided with follow-up care after their initial visit. Those patients will receive a suite of primary care services both on-site and combined with other services provided through the Victoria Primary Care Network.
Another purpose for the site is to provide care for people experiencing non-life-threatening conditions, such as an ankle sprain or a sore throat, who need to see a health-care provider within 24 hours but don’t require an emergency department. The UPCC also provides specialized urgent primary care to seniors, the medically frail and patients with mental-health and substance-use issues, the province said.
People can call the centre at 250-519-3800 starting at 8 p.m. every day to arrange same-day care.
There are five other primary care centres in Greater Victoria, which are located in downtown Victoria, Esquimalt, James Bay, North Quadra and Langford.
The region has seen several clinics shut down in 2022, but the province on Wednesday said the Gorge centre shows its commitment to advancing primary health-care access in Victoria and across B.C.
“The new urgent and primary care centre on the Gorge means that more people in the region will have expanded access to the team-based, comprehensive health care they need, when they need it,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.
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