Urgent and primary care centre to open in Duncan in 2025

Urgent and primary care centre to open in Duncan in 2025
Medical tools are pictured in an exam room at a health clinic in Calgary, Friday, July 14, 2023.

A new urgent and primary care centre has been announced for Duncan, which is expected to open in 2025.

Urgent and primary care centres are one of the tactics the B.C. government is taking to try and address the primary care crisis in the province, where one million people are estimated to be without a primary care provider.

“It’s important that everyone can access primary care, even outside of regular hours, as not everyone can easily step away from work, school or other priorities during the day,” said Adrian Dix, minister of health. “Cowichan’s new UPCC will mark a significant step forward in addressing this challenge and makes it easier for people to access health care.”

The new centre will be at 940 Government Street in Duncan and will provide urgent and episodic primary care to people in the Cowichan Valley. Some patients will be connected to the centre through the Health Connect Registry.

UPCC’s aim is to fill a void left by closing walk-in clinics, providing people with urgent medical needs that aren’t severe enough for an emergency department a place to go. The province says UPCCs are for things like sprains, cuts, high fevers and minor infections.

The new centre in Duncan will be 930 square metres with a patient waiting room, reception, medication, point-of-care testing area, staff work and meeting rooms.

The centre will have approximately 30 full-time employees including family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, mental-health clinicians and clinical support staff.

The province estimates the cost to open a UPCC, including medical equipment, clinic furnishings and technology, to be $7 million.

The average wait time to get into a walk-in clinic in B.C. in 2023 is the longest in Canada, with people who go to clinics waiting an average of 93 minutes, according to Medimap’s 2024 report. Medimap is a service which provides estimated wait times for participating walk-in clinics in Canada.

North Vancouver had the longest wait time in B.C. at an average of 187 minutes, followed by Victoria at 107 minutes.

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Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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