Downtown Penticton is getting an urgent primary care centre.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix made the announcement on Tuesday.
The new urgent and primary care centre will open March 31, at unit 101-437 Martin St. The focus of the clinic will be on addictions and mental health, said Dix. The new facility will be more than 6,000 square-feet of space, including exam rooms and waiting room.
The urgent care centre will expand the services provided by the Martin Street Outreach Centre, and allow for additional staff.
Approximately 14 full-time equivalent clinical health-care professionals will join the centre, including physicians, a nurse practitioner, nurses and allied health professionals. The team will first provide long-term primary care services for people with mental health and substance use needs.
These services include complex care management, mental health and substance use health care, opioid agonist treatment and women’s health.
The centre will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday at first, and eventually expand services to seven days a week.
More health-care professionals will gradually join the centre. Once fully staffed, the clinic will provide urgent and primary care services to people living in Penticton and surrounding communities who need health care provided within 12 to 24 hours, but do not require a trip to the emergency department, such as patients with sprains, cuts, high fevers and minor infections.
Dr. Kyle Stevens, who has been working at the outreach centre on Martin Street, said the needs have grown so much for those experiencing mental health and addictions that more space and health-care support is a welcome announcement.
“Our Martin Street clinic opened up six years ago, serving Penticton’s most vulnerable. We started with 250 clients and now we have 1,200 patients. We simply ran out of room. But now we will have more physicians and a full-time social worker,” said Stevens.