Island's fourth urgent and primary care centre planned for Victoria

Vancouver Island’s fourth urgent and primary care centre is coming to Victoria, with renovations on the space expected to start this summer.

On Monday, Island Health posted a request for proposals for an urgent and primary care centre in an unfinished empty space in The Wade, a two-building mixed-use condominium at the corner of Johnson and Cook streets.

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A space of 9,045 square feet will be renovated to create urgent and standard exam rooms. According to the posting on Bid B.C., it will include room for bariatric care and mental-health care.

The centres are intended to provide same-day access for people with non-emergency illnesses and injuries who need to be seen within 12 to 24 hours, relieving pressure on hospital emergency rooms.

They are also meant to “attach” patients to family doctors at the centre or in the community and offer patients ongoing care through appointments with doctors and nurse practitioners.

Island Health confirmed Wednesday it has leased the space and issued a request for proposals seeking consultant firms.

It said it expects construction to begin in late summer, but has not yet set an opening date.

In its request for proposals, Island Health says it is looking for four firms: an architectural firm to act as the primary consultant and individual consultant firms in structural, mechanical and electrical engineering.

B.C.’s Health Minister Adrian Dix has been leading the charge since 2018 for health authorities in the province to open urgent and primary care centres. There are two on the Island — one in Langford and one in Nanaimo — and a third is set to open in James Bay this month.

The Health Ministry and Island Health said a formal announcement about the new centre will be made at a later date.

In November, Dix said the West Shore location was the busiest of the 14 in the province, with 25,000 patient visits in its first year.

The closing date for proposals is May 8.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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