Expanded Sooke clinic aims to connect more patients with doctors

An expansion of Sooke’s West Coast Family Medical Clinic is expected to increase its capacity to serve about 300 patients a day in the growing community.

The clinic anticipates the expansion will also allow it to connect 4,250 people who are without a family doctor to consistent primary care.

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“People need reliable access to health care close to home,” said Premier John Horgan.

“This new clinic will deliver primary health care for people in the fast-growing community of Sooke and the surrounding area.”

An annual commitment of $1 million by the province, announced last year, will support the addition of five new health-care professionals, including two family physicians, two nurses and a nursing practitioner.

The new staff members will join a team of nine family doctors, one registered nurse, a social worker, a dietitian and 11 administrative staff. Most are expected to be hired by August, with full staffing likely by early next year.

“The development of a multidisciplinary clinic in Sooke has long been a dream of mine and many before me,” Dr. Robin Saunders said at a news conference to announce the official opening of the expanded clinic. Saunders has been a family physician in Sooke for nearly three decades.

Island Health provided $600,000 in funding to support a renovation and expansion of the building, which officially reopened Friday. “This is good news for the residents of the Sooke region,” said Layton Engwer, a patient-care representative.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait said the expansion will provide necessary medical services close to home for those in her community.

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