Health care in Ashcroft and the surrounding area has a new look, with the opening of an urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) on Sept. 27. It will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., with nursing and allied health teams providing team-based primary care services.
The UPCC is at the Ashcroft Hospital and Community Health Care Centre site, and will provide residents with increased access to team-based health care through a gradual opening. It will first provide urgent primary care services, which includes connecting patients who do not have a primary care provider to a family doctor or nurse practitioner.
The Ashcroft Family Medical Clinic, which is separate from the UPCC, remains open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Urgent care services are available at the UPCC for people with non-life-threatening conditions such as sprains, cuts, high fevers, and minor infections who need to see a health care provider within 12 to 24 hours, but who do not require an emergency department.
The primary care services available at the UPCC include diagnosis and treatment for minor illnesses, as well as provision of harm-reduction supplies and education, reproductive care, vaccinations and injections, early detection, guideline-based chronic disease management, and co-ordination of services, referrals to community services, pre- and post-surgical care, and ongoing monitoring, including of medication.
“A new UPCC in Ashcroft will offer people increased access to the health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, in a statement on Sept. 27.
“With the support of local health care teams and through community collaboration, we’re strengthening primary care services throughout the province. In Ashcroft, this means that more people can access same-day, everyday health care.”
“Opening this UPCC in Ashcroft is the first of its kind in Interior Health to stabilize rural health care in a model that provides urgent primary care 12 hours per day close to home, while ensuring the network connection to Royal Inland Hospital when a higher level of care is required,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO, Interior Health, in a statement.
“I am also impressed with the recruitment of staff to support rural care; it indicates to me the passion health care staff have for team-based rural medicine.”
The Ashcroft UPCC is the 29th UPCC announced under the government’s primary care strategy. It is the result of close collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Interior Health, the Interior Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice, and local First Nations partners. It is a part of the Interior Rural Primary Care Network, and will be owned and operated by Interior Health.