Airdrie urgent care centre to resume 24/7 service Friday

The Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at the Airdrie Community Health Centre will resume 24/7 hours of operation on Friday, Alberta Health Services said. Global News

The Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at the Airdrie Community Health Centre will resume 24/7 hours of operation on Friday.

Four new physicians have been recruited and will work at the UCC in the coming weeks, Alberta Health Services said in a release on Thursday morning along with the announcement. There are also ongoing efforts to recruit new physicians to support urgent care services in Airdrie.

Read more: Airdrie Community Health Centre urgent care to temporarily close overnight for 8 weeks

This comes after the UCC was forced to reduce overnight hours on weekend evenings since July 21. AHS said the temporary measure was taken as a “last resort” to support patient and staff safety.

“These new physician recruits will provide ongoing support and allow us to return to 24/7 urgent care services in Airdrie,” said Dr. Charles Wong, medical lead in urgent care for the Calgary Zone.

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AHS also explained more than $1 million in new funding will add more staff and three new care spaces to improve urgent care services in the city. More staffing will also be added to improve triage and patient flow during flow hours.

The provincial health authority also rolled out a new care model for patients with less serious health issues, dubbed Fast Track. The service will operate eight hours a day and is anticipated to treat up to 30 per cent of daily UCC visits, according to AHS.

Read more: High demand led to cutting back Calgary urgent care hours: AHS

AHS said registered nurses and nurse practitioners will be recruited to support this initiative.

“This will enable the other medical staff to focus on those patients with more serious concerns,” said Amanda Gosselin, director of rural health in the Calgary zone.

Mayor pledges continued advocacy

On Friday, Airdrie’s mayor responded to the reopening of the city’s urgent care.

“I want to thank AHS staff, the minister of health, UCC doctors and staff for their willingness to work with us to ensure urgent care health services are available to Airdrie and area residents,” Mayor Peter Brown said in a statement.

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A release from the City of Airdrie said Brown and city council will continue to advocate AHS and the health minister for more funding for doctors and staff at the Airdrie urgent care centre.

–with files from Adam Toy, Global News

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