Interior Health unveils new Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Kelowna

UPCC Kelowna

People living in the Central Okanagan will soon have better access to team-based everyday care.

Interior Health announced on Thursday they will be opening a new urgent and primary care facility (UPCC) on Harvey Avenue in the Capri Centre.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the centre will help connect more people with the health care they need, when they need it.

“There will be people who are specials in mental health addictions and nurse practitioners, physiotherapist, respiratory therapists and others who will be able to provide care. Those professions were chosen because of the needs of people in Kelowna,” said Dix.

Leading physician Michael Koss says the division has worked with local health authority, first nations and patient voices partners to ensure 4 things about the facility.

“1. That the UPCC is useful for patients and enhances continuity of care. 2. That the centre increases access for patients outside of family doctor office hour or if you can’t get into your family doctor’s office. 3. The UPCC will enable its doctors to work in a team-based care environment providing patient centered care with the support of NP's, nurses and other allied health professionals, and number 4. That the centre is able to care for patients who do not yet have a family doctor,” said Koss.

While the centre will be accessible to all people in the area, spectators questioned why the government chose to locate the center in Kelowna instead of West Kelowna.

Adrian Dix said he understands the need for a centre in West Kelowna but they couldn't pass up on this location.

“This doesn't exclude the works we’re doing to build a primary care network, which is also the investment of new money in West Kelowna. Just because you're taking one positive step, which is available to everyone in the region, doesn't mean it precludes other steps. This is just the first step.”

The centre is expected to open in late December and it will operate seven days a week from 9:30a.m. to 8:30p.m.