Island Health has announced that the health authority has purchased a building in Port McNeill in order to establish a permanent location for its own primary care clinic.
The Mount Waddington Regional Hospital District (MWRHD) has purchased the building and land at 2161 McNeill Road and it will be used as the permanent location of Island Health’s new primary care clinic in the North Island district.
“Access to primary care services plays a critical role in the overall health and well-being of communities,” said Andrew Hory, MWRHD Board Chair. “We are proud to support Island Health as they work towards their vision of a health authority owned and operated primary care clinic for Port McNeill and region.”
Island Health says it will now begin upgrades to the building to create an optimal patient and provider experience.
“It will take a full community effort to create a sustainable long-term primary care model in Port McNeill and this is a perfect example of partners working together to achieve that goal,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health Board Chair. “We are thankful to the MWRHD and look forward to serving the primary care needs of those in the region.”
Island Health notes that it will work closely with local Indigenous communities to create a culturally safe clinic environment and give the clinic a name that is reflective of the history of the region.
“The Kwakwaka’wakw people have been the stewards of this land since time immemorial,” said Marie Hunt, Kwakiutl Band Council Health Director. “We look forward to working with Island Health towards our shared goal of creating a space that provides culturally safe care that is inclusive of our traditions and practices.”
While upgrades are completed at the permanent clinic location, the health authority says it will operate within both the McNeill Rd. location and a temporary clinic at 1584 Broughton Blvd.
Island Health says it is working closely with Dr. Prean Armogam, the physician who was working out of the privately-owned and operated clinic located at 2161 McNeill Road.
During the transition period, Island Health says it is providing Dr. Armogam with clinic space and administrative office support at Woss, Sointula and Port McNeill to help support his private practice. He will continue to have space in the health authority-owned and operated clinics to conduct his practice as permanent clinicians are recruited to the community.
Recruitment of additional permanent physicians to live and work in Port McNeill is ongoing, according to Island Health.
“It is critical to create a welcoming, supportive environment where physicians want to relocate to,” said Gaby Wickstrom, Mayor of Port McNeill. “The Town of Port McNeill fully supports Island Health, and we are excited to see a new vision for primary care emerging.”
If you have questions about accessing primary care in Port McNeill, please call 1-866-956-2007 or email [email protected].