Urgent care centre coming to Kamloops

The Tournament Capital will be getting a new urgent primary care and learning centre, the province announced Friday morning. 

The facility will be staffed by a host of health professionals, including family doctors, physiotherapists and nurses, according to a government press release. It'll be located at 311 Columbia St., on the street front of Royal Inland Hospital's Clinical Services Building. 

While an urgent primary care centre was announced in Surrey on Thursday, Kamloops will have the province's first operational one. The centre will open next week, running only in the evenings, seven days a week. Once it's fully operational in the fall, it'll be open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., year-round, with rolling 24-hour appointment booking.

"One in seven people in Kamloops don't have a doctor or primary care provider, and many people living in B.C. are unable to get same-day or next-day appointments with their primary-care providers," says Health Minister Adrian Dix in the release. "The Kamloops Urgent Primary Care and Learning Centre is going to make a real difference, by using a team-based model of care, to provide greater access to day-to-day care."

The release notes the centre will also be integrated into a local network of health-care providers, services and programs, making it easier for people to receive follow-up care and access to other services they may need. 

Referrals will be accepted from physicians, nurse practitioners and other community clinicians. Patients will also be able to self-refer.

The "learning" part of the centre will see resident doctors working under the supervision of experienced physicians, as the University of British Columbia expands its family medicine resident-training program in the Interior. 

"This gives residents the opportunity to start building a practice locally," says Dix. "This is not just an idea for now, it’s an idea for five and 10 and 15 years from now, to ensure that the family practice doctors we train in B.C. and here in Kamloops, will establish themselves in Kamloops for generations to come."

Dix says by the spring of 2019, every provincial health region will have two urgent primary care centres.

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