UPDATE: West Kelowna getting long-awaited primary health care centre | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

UPDATE: West Kelowna getting long-awaited primary health care centre

Health minister Adrian Dix phoned into the West Kelowna city council meeting today, Sept. 8, to let them know the city will be getting its long-awaited Urgent and Primary Care Centre.

“Wow, great news,” Mayor Gord Milsom said. “This is truly a great day for our community.”

He said the City has been lobbying for such a facility as one of its top priorities ever since incorporation in 2007.

The first such care centre in the Interior opened in Kamloops in 2018.

Since then similar facilities opened in Kelowna, Vernon and Castlegar but not West Kelowna where civic leaders have argued for years that they were at some risk if the Bennett Bridge was to close during an emergency, cutting off access to Kelowna General Hospital.

“Urgent and Primary Care Centres provide a flexible resource to meet the urgent and primary health care need, primarily in large urban centres where a higher percentage of the population is unable to find or access a regular family doctor or nurse practitioner,” states the HealthLink B.C. website.

Milsom said he looks forward to welcoming new doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners in the weeks ahead.

The Ministry of Health, in an email, said the centre will open at 2484 Main St. in November but did not provide a specific date or initial hours of operation.

"It is anticipated that health-care team will include general practitioners, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, physiotherapists and medical office assistants," the email says. "Once fully staffed the centre will provide care for more than 27,000 patient visits annually. Patients will be seen by the team of health-care providers and will be able to self-refer to the UPCC for care."

– This story was updated at 2:43 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2020 to add in location and date of opening.

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