Urgent and primary care centre open in northeast Vancouver

PEOPLE living in northeast Vancouver have better access to team-based everyday health care with a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) that is now open at 102 – 2788 East Hastings Street, the Province announced on Tuesday.

“The opening of the Northeast UPCC is excellent news for people living in northeast Vancouver,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The centre will help connect more people with the health care they need, when they need it. Area residents who currently lack a primary care provider will benefit from increased access to same-day appointments for urgent needs and ongoing primary care.”

A team of 16.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) health-care workers is currently providing urgent care at the centre. The centre is open for patients who need health care within 12 to 24 hours but do not require an emergency department. This includes 3.2 FTE family physicians, 3.0 FTE nurse practitioners, 7.6 FTE registered nurses, 1.7 FTE social workers and one FTE clinical co-ordinator.

The centre is open for urgent care from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and statutory holidays.

Once the centre is fully operational, comprehensive primary care and patient attachment services will also be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. This will be supported with an additional 8.8 FTE health-care professionals, including 1.7 FTE family physicians, 1.4 FTE nurse practitioners, 1.7 FTE registered nurses and four FTE allied health professionals, such as dietitians, social workers and counsellors.

Over the next three years, the UPCC is expected to connect more than 3,500 patients with complex needs who do not have a regular primary care provider to one in the community. This work will be supported by the UPCC and the Vancouver Division of Family Practice. Complex needs include people with mental illness, substance misuse and frail Elders.

“Thousands of people in northeast Vancouver do not have a family doctor and they often struggle to get timely access to the health-care services they need,” said Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. “This new UPCC will have a positive impact on all those living in the community and surrounding area who are looking for local, same-day access to health care.”

The UPCC is operated by Vancouver Coastal Health. It was developed in collaboration with the Vancouver Division of Family Practice, regional and Aboriginal program leads at Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care.

This is the 22nd UPCC to be announced under the government’s primary-care strategy. It is the fourth to open in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

The UPCC in downtown Vancouver has had more than 59,705 patient visits since it opened in November 2018. Since opening in November 2019, the UPCCs in East Vancouver and North Vancouver have served more than 18,279 and 35,741 patient visits, respectively. The Vancouver Northeast UPCC will also be part of the Northeast Primary Care Network.

Vivian Eliopoulos, interim CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, said: “We’re pleased to collaborate with our partners to enhance access to care for more individuals and families in our region. The new Vancouver Northeast Urgent and Primary Care Centre allows us to provide clients with urgent health-care services and ongoing care and support when they need it – all within their own community.”

Dr. Jay Slater, Board Chair, Vancouver Division of Family Practice, said: “The Vancouver division is excited for this additional service for patients in Vancouver’s northeast communities. As an integral component of the implementation of primary care networks, the UPCC provides a place in the community for appropriate urgent services. The UPCC will play an important role in supporting family physicians to continue to provide high-quality primary care in the community, helping to serve the community’s needs and enhance care delivery, when and where patients need it.”

Dr. Matthew Chow, President, Doctors of BC, said: “We look forward to the integration of the Vancouver Northeast 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.”

Michael Sandler, Executive Director, Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of B.C., said: “Nurses and nurse practitioners of B.C. are pleased to see that the knowledge, skills and expertise of the entire health-care team will be utilized to improve access to health care for all British Columbians through urgent and primary care clinics. We believe that this approach will be pivotal in ensuring B.C. families can access health-care services, and we are excited to see the opening of another urgent and primary care clinic in B.C.”

Learn More:

To learn more about the Province’s primary health-care strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010