Health Care

New health-care services to be built in Kelowna this fall – Okanagan

Residents in a Kelowna, BC, neighborhood will soon have increased access to team-based, everyday health care with the construction of a new urgent and primary care center in the Rutland area this fall.

“The past year has been particularly difficult, with multiple Rutland family doctors closing their practices,” said Dr. Christine Hoppe, lead physician at Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice.

Click to play video: 'Health minster on funding and priorities for BC health care'

Health minister on funding and priorities for BC health care

“With a community health center and an urgent and primary-care center opening in Rutland in the months ahead, Rutland residents will have better access to much-needed health care in their own community.”

Story continues below advertisement

It is anticipated that the health-care team will include 31.3 full-time-equivalent jobs, including family doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists and life-skills workers.

“The demand is here. This is our third urgent primary care center in Kelowna and we really hope that this center fills the need that is here today for the people in this area,” said Susan Brown IHA president and CEO.

Patients will be seen by the team of health-care providers and will be able to self-refer to the UPCC for care.

Click to play video: 'BC budget commits $3.2 billion for a stronger health and mental health care system'

BC budget commits $3.2 billion for a stronger health and mental health care system

The centre, which will be built at 110 Highway 33 West will serve two purposes.

The first is to provide urgent primary-care services to people living in the community who need to see a health-care provider within 12 to 24 hours, but do not require going to the emergency department, such as patients with sprains, cuts, high fevers and minor infections.

Story continues below advertisement

Starting in the fall of 2023, care will be available from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm, seven days a week.

The second purpose is to help attach more patients to the clinic to provide ongoing team-based primary-care services, including mental health.

Click to play video: 'BC officials set to provide spring COVID-19 booster update'

BC officials set to provide spring COVID-19 booster update

“By investing in the development of a new urgent and primary health-care center in Kelowna, we are demonstrating our commitment to connecting more patients with timely and comprehensive care,” Adrian Dix, minister of health, said during a Thursday afternoon press conference.

“In the near future, residents of Kelowna and surrounding communities will benefit from much-needed increased access to primary care services.”

The facility hopes to alleviate the high demand at other UPCC across Kelowna and make it easier for those needing services in their own neighborhoods.

Story continues below advertisement

“With Rutland being one of our fastest growing urban centers within the fastest growing region of Canada. We need to continually look to the future needs of the people who live here now and into the future. The need to access healthcare timely, including mental health care is greater than ever,” said Loyal Wooldridge Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District chair.

Interior Health will operate the UPCC and collaborate with the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice to integrate the UPCC into the Rutland/Lake Country Primary Care Network, as part of the larger Central Okanagan Primary Care Network.

Click to play video: 'Province announces urgent and primary care center for Penticton'

Province announces urgent and primary care center for Penticton

With the opening of the Rutland UPCC, there will be 32 UPCCs operating in the province, with nine in the Interior Health region.

The other UPCCs in the region are Vernon, Kamloops, Kelowna, Castlegar, West Kelowna, Cranbrook, Penticton and Ashcroft.

Story continues below advertisement

In addition to this new urgent primary-care center, a community health center for Rutland is under development through a partnership between the Okanagan Family Medicine and Community Health Center Society, Central Okanagan Primary Care Network and the Ministry of Health in order to provide improved access to team-based, longitudinal primary-care services.

Click to play video: 'New complex care homes open in Kelowna'

New complex care homes open in Kelowna

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.