West Kelowna  

Care centre on the table

An urgent care has been a priority for West Kelowna council since the inception of the municipality 10 years ago.

Interior Health went so far as to purchase a 2.7 hectare site at Bering and Elliott roads in March of 2010 for a possible centre.

The municipality even included plans for Interior Health to lease space for such a facility in its proposed city hall venture which was defeated by voters in last year's referendum.

The idea has been refloated by the NDP as part of their health care election platform.

Under the platform, announced by party leader John Horgan, an NDP government would construct urgent care centres in communities in the province it says are underserved with health care services.

Kelowna West NDP candidate Shelley Cook says, while no specific communities have been determined, she, if elected, would lobby for one in West Kelowna.

"Absolutely, and I'm hearing that from the constituents as well," she said.

"We know in British Columbia, 700,000 people don't have access to a doctor. I am hearing stories on the doorstep of people who waited days at walk-in clinics because they didn't want to go to emergency rooms."

Cook says, while there are some great assets in much needed core services, the province also continues to face numerous health care challenges.

"In terms of the urgent care centre, we're also looking at more of a multi-disciplinary, or holistic health care perspective, that would also include mental health workers, psychiatrists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, those types of things."

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