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British Columbia NDP leader Adrian Dix speaks during a news conference with families of serial killer Robert Pickton's victims in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday March 29, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Residents in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows now have increased access to urgent and primary health care.

B.C.'s health minister, Adrian Dix, announced Friday the opening of a new primary and urgent care centre, along with the launch of two new health care networks.

"To make this happen, teams of existing doctors, nurse practitioners, other health care providers and community organizations will be networked together to streamline referrals for patients and better support the unique primary care needs of the entire community," Dix said at a news conference Friday morning.

The care centre will provide a clinical team approach. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other care providers will be available for patients to access.

The goal is to attach patients to a family practitioner at the clinic or in the community. The centre expects to support 25,000 patient visits a year.

The new health networks focus on improving access to health services and strengthening support for patients and providers.