Penticton urgent care centre won't close despite $1M funding shortfall: Interior Health | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton urgent care centre won't close despite $1M funding shortfall: Interior Health

Interior Health says a $1,000,000 funding shortfall will not affect operation of the newly opened urgent primary care facility on Martin Street in Penticton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Interior Health
April 20, 2021 - 6:30 PM

A refusal by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen's hospital board of directors to provide one-time funding of $1 million to Penticton’s newly opened Urgent and Primary Care Centre will not affect its operation, Interior Health says.

The regional hospital board turned down a request by Interior Health executive director Carl Meadows at the April 15 hospital board meeting for $1 million for leasehold improvement costs to operate the facility, which opened on March 31.

Board directors weren’t pleased by what was perceived as a lack of communication between the provincial health ministry and the regional hospital board, noting the request was being made two weeks after the centre had already opened its doors.

The board did agree to apply for hospital status for the new centre.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health deferred to Interior Health when asked earlier this week what next steps might be taken regarding the funding shortfall for the centre.

Interior Health later responded with the following statement: “The urgent and primary care centre is an important community resource. It is open and will remain open to support people throughout the region now and for many years to come.”

Penticton’s urgent primary care centre is a new service designed to help those without a doctor connect with one, in addition to providing care for urgent health needs that don’t require a visit to a hospital emergency room.

The service also provides long-term primary care for people with mental health and substance abuse needs, as well as women’s health.

Plans are for the care centre to operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

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