New clinic offering same-day primary care opens in Campbell River

New clinic offering same-day primary care opens in Campbell River
File photo.

A new primary-care access clinic is now open in Campbell River after the city’s only walk-in facility for unattached patients closed late last year, leaving some frustrated about the local health-care system.

The Campbell River Primary Care Access Clinic is in the North Island Hospital’s administration building, located at 381 2nd Ave., according to the B.C. government in a news release Tuesday.

It says the clinic offers services by appointment Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., for people who need access to same-day primary care for non-emergency medical concerns. A physician or nurse practitioner, registered nurses, and a medical office assistant will work there.

North Island MLA Michele Babchuck says the clinic represents a step forward in meeting the health-care needs of people living in Campbell River, adding that it “will provide residents access to primary care, which is a crucial link in maintaining wellness.”

On Nov. 17, 2023, the Quinsam Medical Walk-In Clinic in the city’s Willow Point neighbourhood closed for good to people who weren’t connected to one of its family doctors. CHEK News spoke with staff at the facility, who said locals had voiced concerns about how the closure would impact them.

“They’re frustrated and we understand that, but our doctors just can’t take on more patients, and it’s like that all over Campbell River, all over B.C.,” licensed practical nurse Barb Baldwin said last November.

READ ALSO: Island Health has enough family doctors for everyone, so why are some without?

The closure was blamed on a lack of staff. At the time, the city’s mayor, Kermit Dahl, said he hoped the province would help bring more doctors to the area, as thousands of residents were without one.

“Certainly, they could allow some of the people who have been barred from working because they’re not vaccinated,” said Dahl last year. “That would add some people to the workforce, for sure, and then there’s doctors coming from other countries that are struggling to provide a service.”

By October 2021, more than 4,000 unvaccinated health-care workers in B.C., including hundreds in Island Health, were out of a job after they missed the deadline to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“It’s very difficult to get a license in British Columbia,” added Dahl.

After it was announced that Quinsam walk-in was closing, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province was “significantly” investing in primary-care networks in Campbell River and across B.C.

In the release Tuesday, he says the new clinic at the North Island Hospital is a step to strengthen primary care for people, adding, “Through this action, people in Campbell River and surrounding area will get better access to a family doctor or nurse practitioner to get the support they need and make informed decisions about their health.”

The province says the clinic was brought to fruition through a partnership between the Campbell River Division of Family Practice and Island Health, as well as local physicians and nurse practitioners supported by the Ministry of Health and the Family Practices Services Committee of the Doctors of BC.

“I am deeply thankful for the contributions of the care providers and the ongoing support of our community partners, both of which helped to make this clinic possible,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health board chair.

“This project was supported by the local Division of Family Practice from the outset,” added Dawn Hamilton, executive director of the Campbell River and District Division of Family Practice. “We are pleased that there are more options for people to access same-day primary care in Campbell River.”


Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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