New urgent and primary care centre opens in Vancouver on March 29

MORE people in southeast Vancouver will have increased access to team-based, everyday health care with a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) opening March 29 at 5880 Victoria Drive.

“The new Vancouver Southeast UPCC will provide quality same-day, everyday health care to people in Vancouver, including under-served and vulnerable populations,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health on Friday. “We are working with our partners to create strong primary care services on the Lower Mainland and throughout British Columbia. This crucial UPCC builds on other centres already in place, including Vancouver City Centre, Northeast Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, and Research, Education and Action for Community Health (REACH).”

The centre will serve two purposes: one is to provide care for people with non-life-threatening conditions who need to see a health-care provider within 12 to 24 hours but do not require an emergency department, such as patients with sprains, cuts, high fevers and minor infections. Care will be available at the centre from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.

The second purpose is to help attach patients to a regular primary care provider. To facilitate this, the centre, once fully staffed, will attach patients to health-care providers and will provide ongoing wrap-around care for unattached patients on an interim basis while they arrange for patients to be connected to other local practices for care. The team will begin providing long-term primary care services for adults with medically complex needs, seniors and underserved and vulnerable populations.

“People need access to high-quality mental-health and addictions care – it is a vital part of our health system,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “I am encouraged that with the opening of this urgent and primary care centre, more people in southeast Vancouver will be able to connect to the mental-health and addictions supports they need and deserve.”

Once fully staffed, the UPCC will include approximately 22 full-time equivalent (FTE) clinical health-care professionals, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and social workers providing urgent and primary care services to people living in southeast Vancouver.

“A new UPCC in southeast Vancouver means more opportunity for people to get the health care they need,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care and MLA for Vancouver-Kensington. “I’m proud of our government for working to bring more care to more people in their own communities.”

The Vancouver Southeast UPCC is a collaboration between Vancouver Coastal Health, the Ministry of Health, the Vancouver Division of Family Practice and other community partners. It is part of the Vancouver South Primary Care Network.

“Establishing another UPCC in Vancouver is exciting news for many people in the region who can benefit from progress with our primary care strategy,” said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade and MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview. “This next step will increase access to doctors, nurses and other health-care workers for people living in our community, offering timely care even closer to home.”

This is the 27th UPCC announced under government’s primary care strategy and the sixth in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. Since Feb. 3, 2022, Vancouver City Centre, Northeast Vancouver and REACH UPCC’s self-reported a total of 163,251 patient visits.

Dr. Ramneek Dosanjh, President, Doctors of BC, said: “We look forward to the integration of the Vancouver Southeast UPCC in hopes it will strengthen primary care in the community. Doctors of BC has a strong interest in ensuring people have access to the health-care services they need. We also emphasize the importance of measures that strengthen the long-term relationships between patients and their family doctor. These relationships have been shown to improve health outcomes, help avoid preventable illness and reduce the cost of health care.”


Vancouver Southeast Urgent and Primary Care Centre

* It will feature improved access to care through extended weekend and evening hours.

* The centre will be open seven days a week, 365 days per year, including holidays, once fully operational.

* Patients can self-refer for their urgent care needs or be referred by community service providers, other health-care professionals and agencies.

* People can also schedule appointments, but it is not required to access services. During busy periods, appointments will be prioritized based on urgency.

* Patients requiring laboratory testing beyond simple specimen collection will be provided with requisitions for lab tests to be completed at nearby laboratories.

* Of the 151,000 people in the Vancouver South community, approximately 9.1% of patients are considered unattached to a primary care provider.

* The following chronic conditions are prevalent in the Vancouver South Local Health Area: hypertension, osteoporosis, asthma, diabetes and osteoarthritis.

* Approximately 27.5% of visits to Vancouver General Hospital’s emergency department in 2020-21 were triaged as relatively low acuity. Many of these visits could be dealt with in alternative settings such as a UPCC.

* Total capital costs for the Vancouver Southeast UPCC are estimated to be $3.81 million.

* The UPCC will be 478 square metres (5,150 square feet) and will include reception, consultation room, triage/assessment room and eight exam rooms, along with additional areas to help with patient flow and treatment. The UPCC is located close to medical imaging, laboratory service and a pharmacy.

* UPCCs are part of a comprehensive provincial strategy to transform B.C.’s health system by bringing together and coordinate teams of health-care providers, services and programs to make it easier for people to access care, receive follow-up care and connect to other services they may need.