More staff, services added to Comox Valley after hours urgent care clinic

More staff, services added to Comox Valley after hours urgent care clinic
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The Comox Valley After Hours Urgent Care Clinic operates inside the Comox Valley Nursing Centre at 615 10th Street.

Island Health says more staff and services have been added to the after-hours urgent care clinic in the Comox Valley.

The clinic will now have an additional three full time equivalent registered nurses, 2.7 full time equivalent physicians or nurse practitioners and new social work and mental health services.

The hours will also expand, operation from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and statutory holidays. Island Health says this is an additional 34 hours from what it was previously open. Both of these changes are in effect immediately.

“With the addition of more care providers and longer clinic hours, we are continuing to expand access to urgent and primary care for people living in the Comox Valley,” Leah Hollins, Island Health’s board chair said in a news release.

Adrian Dix, B.C.’s health minister, says these changes will help reduce the pressure on the North Island hospital emergency department and reduce patient wati times.

People living in the Comox Valley and surrounding areas will directly benefit from the expanded services and increased hours at the after hours urgent care clinic,” Dix said in the news release.

The clinic is in the Comox Valley Nursing Centre at 615 10th Street. Appointments can be booked by calling 250-331-8099. It is not a walk-in clinic, but same-day appointments are offered when possible.

“Since May 2023, the Comox Valley After Hours Urgent Care Clinic has supported more than 3,200 patient visits,” James Hanson, Island Health’s vice-president of clinical services, acute care North & community services said in a news release.

“The collaborative work between Island Health and our partners is benefitting patients and taking pressure off of our hospital by giving people a more appropriate option when they need urgent care but don’t require a trip to an emergency department.”

Island Health says the after-hours urgent care centre is to be used for non-emergency medical incidents that require care within 12-24 hours like coughs and colds, fever, cuts, wounds or skin conditions, some infections, back pain, sprains and strains, headaches or minor injuries.

People should visit the emergency department for immediate medical care, health crisis, serious injury or illness, chest pain, trouble breathing, shortness of breath, suspected stroke, overdose or poisoning, broken bones, dislocated joints, and severe allergic reactions.

If you are unsure if a medical issue should result in a visit to the urgent care or emergency department, the 811 hotline is available 24/7 to speak with a nurse to get medical advice.

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