After-hours drop-in health centre opens

A drop-in health care centre aimed largely at people without family doctors is up and operating.

Located at Parkwood Mall, doors to the Prince George Urgent and Primary Care Centre opened on Tuesday afternoon.

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It offers after-hours care in the evenings and weekends for people with non-life-threatening conditions who need to see a healthcare provider within 12 to 24 hours but do not require the level of expertise found in emergency departments.

Physicians and nurses will provide care supported by urgent access to mental health and substance use clinicians.

Follow-up care will be coordinated through scheduled appointments with the appropriate clinician or service.

Hours are 4-9 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, 1-9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Some services remain pending, including after-hours access to diagnostics and other types of support. Everything should be in place by this fall, according to Northern Health.

It was created through a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Northern Health, the Prince George Division of Family Practice and the Nechako Medical Clinic.

The Nechako Medical Clinic is made up of over 35 primary care physicians who, in addition to running family practice clinics during the daytime, have been providing after-hours care in the city for the past 25 years.

"We are excited for the opportunity to integrate our medical practice with this expanded multidisciplinary primary care team," said Dr. Brian Hillhouse of the Nechako Medical Clinic in a press release.

"The new resources of the UPCC and the expanded team-based care will allow for greater access to primary care for the community, and provide a higher quality and more holistic urgent and after hours medical care.”

Premier John Horgan and Minister of Health Adrian Dix announced the clinic's opening in April when they were in Prince George.

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