B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announces details of an urgent primary care centre at a press conference Wednesday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. NICHOLAS PESCOD/The News Bulletin

Urgent primary care centre will be an expansion of clinic at Nanaimo’s Port Place

Early June start date now targeted

A promised urgent primary care centre will be located in downtown Nanaimo.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix was at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre on Wednesday where he announced details of the project, which was promised during Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson’s byelection campaign in January.

Dix told reporters the government’s planned primary care centre will be located at the Medical Arts Centre inside Port Place mall. He said it will be staffed by more than 14 new full-time equivalent health-care providers including registered nurses and four doctors, and will accommodate up to 25,000 additional patient visits per year.

“I am very proud of this announcement,” Dix said. “It’s a great day for Nanaimo.”

The centre is expected to be operational by June and will provide “increased access to team-based care” for people in Nanaimo and the surrounding area, according to Dix.

“We’ve already started work on it,” he said. “The contracts have been signed, the work has been started and it is expected to offer the full range of services as it builds out in June of 2019.”

Dix also said, once fully operational, the centre will be open seven days a week, including on statutory holidays and will provide “same-day access to services” for “fragile seniors” and patients requiring mental health and substance abuse support services.

“It will offer new mental health and substance use walk-in urgent services, available seven days a week,” he said.

Dr. Robin Love said the clinic will assist clinical staff in collaborating with colleagues in areas like pharmacy, mental health and social work, and will benefit patients.

“We know from daily experience how important it is for patients to have good access to high-quality urgent primary care,” Love said. “Whether it’s for a child’s ear infection, a minor cut that needs stitches or complications from a chronic condition … primary care is an important health service that we all rely on at many times. It makes sense to invest in this important part of our health system.”

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said there are a lot “lost souls” living on the streets in Nanaimo and many more who don’t have access to primary health care, adding that the centre will make “significant difference” in their lives.

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley said his office routinely receives inquiries from residents requiring additional health-care support and that the centre will be able to address many of those needs.

“We have seniors who don’t have a family doctor, families who need same-day access to healthcare, people who are frail, chronically ill that don’t have access to the health-care services they need,” Routley said, adding “by establishing this urgent primary care centre we are helping to support people in this community with improved access to the everyday health care they need.”

The centre is a partnership project between the province, Medical Arts Centre, Island Health and the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice. It is expected to have an annual operating cost of $2.7 million, according to a government press release.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram


Just Posted

Mamma Mia! Here we go Ladysmith

Ladysmith secondary’s drama program staging light-hearted romp featuring the music of Abba

Ladysmith offers absolutely the best running High (Street) available

Annual Ladysmith Hill Dash is open to runners who enjoy going uphill fast

It’s here: tackling opioid addiction in Ladysmith

Nine overdose deaths in two years “pretty alarming considering this is a small town”

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Spending support helps keep Chemainus Rotary auction going strong

Event a labour of love for club members to generate funds for the community

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Most Read