UPDATE: 4:16 p.m.
The new urgent and primary care centre has already had more than 100 patients roll through.
"A little over one-in-four people who go to Kelowna General Hospital in the emergency would be as well or better served coming in right here," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
The facility features six exam rooms, two treatment rooms, a consultation room, a waiting room and a medication room.
Currently, the centre is open seven days-a-week from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with hours expected to expand in the coming months.
UPDATE 12:09 p.m.
People living in the Central Okanagan now have better access to team-based day-to-day public health care with the opening of the new Kelowna Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC).
"The Kelowna UPCC will help connect more people in Central Okanagan communities with the 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, as well being able to find a doctor or care provider for regular, ongoing primary care."
The Kelowna UPCC is a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Interior Health, the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice and the Doctors of BC. Interior Health also collaborated with the Westbank First Nation, patient partners and the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District to develop the UPCC.
The centre will provide urgent primary care for Central Okanagan residents by a team of health-care providers, including doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and office staff.
The centre will serve two purposes:
- to provide care for people with non-life-threatening conditions who need to see a health-care provider within 12 to 24 hours, but don't require an emergency department and who do not have or cannot access their family practitioner;
- to help attach patients to a regular primary-care provider.
To facilitate this, the centre will attach patients to health-care providers in the community in collaboration with the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice. Unattached patients will be provided with ongoing wraparound care on an interim basis, while arranging for patients to be connected to other local practices for their care.
ORIGINAL 11:00 a.m.
Castanet will be going live today at the opening of the new urgent and primary care centre.
At 11:15 a.m., B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix will open the facility, which is located in the former Bank of Montreal building, next to the Capri Centre Mall.