The Vancouver Island Health region will be receiving its fourth new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) next year under the B.C. NDP government’s primary care strategy.

This UPCC will be located in Esquimalt and is slated to open a temporary space in late spring 2021.

“As part of our primary care strategy, we’re moving forward with a new urgent and primary care centre in Esquimalt to help connect more people with the team-based and comprehensive health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

“Thousands of area residents who currently lack a primary care provider will benefit from increased access to same-day appointments for urgent needs and ongoing primary care.”

Once opened, the centre will provide extended hours of care with primary care providers supporting both attachment and access to services.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health, Island Health has been opening several UPCCs in recent years as a result of the recent departure of family physician practices from the community.

The first centre was opened in Langford in 2018, the second in Nanaimo in 2019, and the third in James Bay, Victoria just a few months ago in April 2020.

Urgent Primary Care Centres provide access to same-day, urgent, non-emergency health care, including in the evening and on weekends, offering an alternative to emergency rooms in cases where patients do not necessarily need to hospital care for things like sprains and minor cuts and burns.