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Kamloops  

Urgent care centre unveiled

Kamloops is getting an urgent primary care and learning centre.

The provincial government and Interior Health made the announcement Friday morning.

It's the second of 10 such centres planned across B.C. The first was announced for Surrey on Thursday.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the facility, on the grounds of Royal Inland Hospital, will be staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals and staff, ranging from family doctors and physiotherapists, to nurses.

"It's important for patients to have access to care when they or their family member have a non-emergency, but urgent primary health-care need," said Doug Cochrane, Interior Health board chair.

"Interior Health is proud to offer a quality centre, where people will be able to see a doctor or another health professional within 24 hours."

The facility will operate seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, beginning in the fall.

The mayors of Kelowna and West Kelowna have both made it known they would welcome a similar urgent care centre in their cities.

West Kelowna has been lobbying Interior health and the Ministry of Health for years to obtain a medical facility for a community it says is vastly underserved.

Mayor Doug Findlater says the city is still in discussions with both IH and the ministry but, as of yet, has heard nothing official.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran says an urgent care centre for Kamloops could mean the Okanagan is out of the running, at least in this round of announcements. But, he added, Interior Health must ultimately decide where they are located.

"We believe the Okanagan should have one," said Basran. "Would I like to see it in Kelowna? Yes. But I also know Interior Health will put it in the area that they believe will best serve the region."



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