The B.C. Ministry of Health has announced the opening of a new primary clinic led by nurse practitioners in Victoria.
The nurse practitioner primary clinic, called ‘Health Care on Yates’ is set to be fully operational on September 28, through the Victoria Primary Care Society, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC and Island Health.
“Nurse practitioners are part of B.C.’s primary care strategy and work together with doctors and other health-care professionals to improve the primary care system in the province,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, in a statement released Friday.
“This is the third nurse practitioner primary care clinic that we are establishing under our strategy and the first in Victoria.”
The clinic is currently undergoing renovations but has already been registering patients who do not have a primary care provider since August 10.
According to the province, the clinic has received over 1,000 registration requests and as of September 10, booked over 550 patients for virtual primary care appointments with clinic nurse practitioners.
Once renovations are complete, in-person same-day appointments will be available at the 1139 Yates Street clinic.
At the moment, virtual appointments are available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Once fully operational, the hours will expand to Monday to Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
The clinic currently employs six full time equivalent (FTE) nurse practitioners, but when open, will employ registered nurses, a social worker and a mental health and substance use clinician, for a total of 10 FTE health-care staff and four medical office assistants.
“Health Care on Yates NP primary care clinic will be an important part of the network of care serving the people of Victoria,” said Leah Hollins, board chair of Island Health in a statement.
“The centre will connect more people to an integrated team of health professionals to provide them with the timely, appropriate services they need and complement the current care provided by family physicians.”
The provincial government has issued a one-time startup fund of $445,500 and will provide annual operational funding of approximately $2 million once the clinic is fully staffed.
Over the next three years, the Ministry predicts this clinic will connect about 6,800 people without a primary care provider to a nurse practitioner.