July 17, 2019 6:21 pm
Updated: July 18, 2019 11:55 am

New healthcare hub coming to East Vancouver’s Commercial Drive

WATCH: NDP government announces new East Vancouver health centre

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Vancouver is getting a second Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC), this time in East Vancouver.

The NDP government promised to implement UPCCs as a part of its 2017 election campaign. The facilities are intended to take stress off of hospital ERs while providing patients with same-day access to doctors and nurses.

The newest facility, located at 1145 Commercial Drive where it will partner with the REACH Community Health Centre, will be the ninth in the province.

The Ministry of Health said in addition to treating ailments that need care within 12-24 hours, but don’t require an emergency department visit, the centre will also work to attach people who don’t have a doctor to a primary care practitioner.

“Accessing a family doctor, for my generation, that was part and parcel of how we accessed healthcare. You went to your GP, and your GP then moved you through the system,” said Premier John Horgan.

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READ MORE: New Urgent Primary Care Centre to open in Vancouver on Monday

“Well, we need to find a new and better way to make sure we’re connecting more patients with healthcare providers. Not just [doctors], who are critically important to our system, but to all of the healthcare providers that make up our extraordinary public system.”

The ministry estimates some 57,000 people in East Vancouver currently lack a primary care provider.

According to the ministry, the facility is expected to take on an additional 37,000 patients annually, and will be staffed by doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and a clinical pharmacist.

READ MORE: Surrey is unveiled as fourth Urgent Primary Care Centre in British Columbia

The facility will phase into its role as a UPCC starting in August, but won’t be fully operational until October, when it moves into a renovated space in the same building, said the ministry.

The province said tat that point it will be open seven days a week, with hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and holidays.

The new facility is expected to cost $1.48 million to start up, with annual operating costs of $2.65 million.

WATCH: (Feb. 4, 2019) You’re older and your family doctor decides to move on. What do you do?

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