On Friday, the B.C. Government announced the opening of a new urgent primary care facility for the West Shore community.

It is expected to open on November 5th and will connect local residents with health-care providers that offer urgent care as an alternative to existing emergency rooms.

“People want the security of knowing the consistent health care they need is available in their community, and the West Shore centre will play a critical role in delivering that care,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan.

This new centre, located at 582 Goldstream Avenue, is 7.8 km from Victoria General Hospital and will play an important role in the community, where nearly 1 in 5 residents live without a family health-care provider.

The centre will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week, and will be staffed with a team of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other health-care professionals like a mental health and substance use clinician. Visitors will be able to walk-in like a regular clinic, or schedule private/group appointments or telehealth visits with the variety of medical professionals.

According to the news release, the clinician will be able to give same-day services to people living with mild to moderate mental health and/or substance use disorders. The centre hopes to help treat mood disorders like anxiety and depression in a community where there had previously been limited mental health and substance use services.

“The West Shore is one of Vancouver Island’s largest growing populations, and many people are struggling to find a primary care provider,” said Leah Hollins, chair of Island Health’s board of directors.

“The new West Shore centre will connect people to a multidisciplinary team, and is the foundation of our plans to improve care across the western communities.”

The West Shore Urgent Primary Care Centre will mark the fourth of ten urgent primary care centres opening around the province by spring 2019, and the first to be opened on Vancouver Island.

The centre estimates it will be able to accommodate 128 unique patient visits per day, and up to 40,000 a year.