There will be a new option for same-day access to urgent primary care in Quesnel.

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced on Wednesday that an Urgent Primary Care Centre will soon open its doors to the public.

“It’s our third urgent primary care centres in British Columbia and it will be open October 31st,” Dix said.

“Urgent primary care centres are unique in that they provide primary care for injuries and illnesses that should be seen by a health care provider within 12 to 24 hours but do not require emergency care provided in the hospital emergency department.”

Dix says that about half of the people who visited the emergency department last spring were characterized as less urgent and non-urgent and could have been better addressed through primary care.

The urgent primary care centre will be located within G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital at the Community Health Services site. It will be staffed by a team of health professionals who will be connected with a variety of services and programs, making it easier for patients to receive follow-up care and access to other services they may need.

“The close proximity of the centre to the emergency department will also enable emergency department physicians to provide support to the centre,” Dix adds.

“This will allow for greater collaboration between the emergency department, the urgent primary care centre, and primary care practices. There will be better urgent follow up by the appropriate interprofessional team members including nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and social workers along with the connection of unattached patients is needed, another word providing service and then connecting people back if they do not have a family doctor to family doctors in the community.”

The centre will be open from noon to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 10 4 p.m. on weekends and statutory holidays.

“We’re pleased that the new Quesnel Urgent Primary Care centre is opening later this month to serve residents of Quesnel and the surrounding area,” said Northern Health Board chair, Colleen Nyce.

“This new, co-located service will provide much-needed access to primary care for people in this region, including those, such as seniors, who may have specific care needs that require additional community supports.”