Minister Adrian Dix unveils the new sign at the Community Health Services door of G.R. Baker Hospital, which includes the addition of the Urgent Primary Care Centre. Melanie Law photo

Urgent Primary Care Centre announced for Quesnel

Second centre in B.C. will offer after-hours and weekend care to reduce impact on emergency room

Quesnel and area residents will have increased access to health care when an Urgent Primary Care Centre opens Oct. 31.

Adrian Dix, B.C. Minister of Health, was joined by representatives from Northern Health to make the announcement this morning (Oct. 10) at G.R. Baker Hospital.

The Urgent Primary Care Centre will be located at the Community Health Services site at 543 Front Street, offering appointments to patients including the frail elderly, those with mental health and substance use needs as well as patients without a family physician. There will be drop-in spaces for those who require urgent care but do not need the emergency room.

The centre will be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and statutory holidays.

Minister Dix said the centre will be recruiting new staff members so as not to put a strain on Quesnel’s existing health care providers. Doctors, nurses and a nurse practitioner will be available for patients via the centre.

Local physician Dr. Dietrich Furstenburg, who also acts at the Northern Interior rural medicine director, said he and heath care providers in Quesnel had a positive experience working with the Ministry on the project.

“I was worried in the beginning to see how it would work with what we have at the moment,” he said. . “I’m pleased to say we have had a positive experience with the Ministry in being open to suggestions and working with us to fit in with something within our clinic to make sure all the services we provide here work in collaboration with everyone else we do.”

Dr. Furstenburg said they looked at how to staff the model to ensure health care providers are not overworked within the system. “I’m pleased to say the solution that we came up with is very good.”

There is funding for additional staff, significant new funding. There will be a new nurse practitioner, as well as a new GP and potentially other staff… we are going to build out for that. This is a major investment in primary care. Part of the challenge was to make sure we didn’t displace services… we worked very closely with the division of family practices to make sure it works well,” said Minister Dix.

Dix said the new centre will provide resources in key hours when the emergency room is full. “It provides that after-hours extra service for people who can’t get an appointment, and that will supplement the great work done by doctors and nurse practitioners here.”

Health-care providers at the centre will be connected with a variety of services and programs, making it easier for patients to receive follow-up care and access to other services they may need. For example, the Urgent Primary Care Centre will make sure seniors are connected with appropriate community supports to help them safely stay at home longer, explained a press release.

The centre is the third such centre to open in B.C. as part of the province’s new primary heath care strategy, and has been allocated $1.1 million in annual funding. The other centres are in Kamloops and Surrey.

Dix said he hopes within a year to see less traffic in the emergency room, more residents attached to family doctors, and people getting more rapid access to various services.

“We’re pleased that the new Quesnel Urgent Primary Care centre is opening later this month to serve residents of Quesnel and the surrounding area. This new, co-located service will provide much-needed access to primary care for people in this region, including those, such as seniors, who may have specific care needs that require additional community supports,” said Colleen Nyce, chair of the Northern Health board.

The Urgent Primary Care Centre will operate from the Community Health Services area of G.R. Baker Hospital, utilizing unused space, said Andrea Palmer, Northern Health’s regional manager of public affairs & media relations.

The news comes after the Minister of Health yesterday announced a new hospital has received the green light in Fort St. James.



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Minister Dix, front right, with Mayor Bob Simpson, front left, and representatives from Northern Health, Lhtako Dené Nation and Quesnel City Council. Melanie Law photo

Minister of Health Adrian Dix at G.R. Baker Hospital after the announcement of a new Urgent Primary Care Centre in Quesnel. Melanie Law photo

Just Posted

Bish Creek fire removed from Province’s Wildfire Dashboard

Unclear when investigation into fire’s cause will be completed

District looking for public input on cycling plan

Survey is open to the public until May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Flooding unlikely this year throughout Skeena watershed

Region’s snowpack among lowest in the province

Cameras and convoys: Graduation in the age of COVID-19

Schools in Terrace and Kitimat are thinking outside the box to give students a graduation ceremony

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read