East Vancouver residents will soon have a new place to go when they need medical attention.
The provincial government Wednesday announced the opening of the REACH Urgent and Primary Care Centre on Commercial Drive.
“The Reach centre will help connect more people in East Vancouver and the surrounding communities with the health care they need, when they need it,” Premier John Horgan said in a press release. “For people who have been struggling to access health care services, this will make a big difference in their lives.”
The centre is the second urgent and primary care centre to open in the city, the City Centre Urgent and Primary Care Centre opened last November, and the ninth in B.C. under the government’s primary care strategy.
The centres serve two purposes. The first is to provide care for people with non-life-threatening conditions who need to see a health-care provider within 12 to 24 hours, but do not require a trip to the emergency room. The centres will also help connect patients with a regular primary care provider. Patients will be able to see a health-care provider at the centre on an interim basis while they wait to be connected with another physician.
The new centre in East Van is a partnership between REACH Community Health Centre, the Ministry of Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health and the Vancouver Division of Family Practice.
“Reach is among the most established community health care centres in the province, supporting East Vancouver residents for 50 years,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “Through this partnership, tens of thousands of areas residents who currently lack a primary care provider will benefit from increased access to same day and ongoing primary care.”
The centre, located at 1145 Commercial Dr., will be set up to provide some urgent primary care services as of early August and will be fully operational and welcoming patients by October. It will operate temporarily out of an existing space within the REACH Community Health Centre, before transitioning permanently to a new renovated space in the same building.
It will include a medical imaging facility (for X-rays), labs and two pharmacies, one of which is operated by REACH Community Health Centre and will provide extended hours.
The new centre is expected to provide care for more than 37,000 additional patients each year who will be seen by a team of health-care providers, including doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, licensed practical nurses, social workers, a clinical pharmacist and office staff.
“The new urgent and primary care centre will support our plans to expand our services to meet the health care needs of even more people who live and work in the community,” said Nicole LeMire, executive director, REACH Community Health Centre.