B.C.’s Health Minister Adrian Dix speaks during the announcement for a new hospital in Cloverdale on Dec. 9, 2019. (File photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Coverdale

Lower Mainland’s first nurse practitioner primary care clinic to open in Surrey

Patients can start registering Aug. 10

A nurse practitioner primary care clinic is opening in Cloverdale in September.

Axis Primary Care Clinic, located at 5795 176th St., will start registering patients on Monday (Aug. 10) and the clinic will officially open Sept. 8.

The clinic, according to the Ministry of Health, will provide “access to primary health-care services to patients with complex medical and social needs, mental health and addictions challenges and co-ordination of specialist care.”

This is the first nurse practitioner primary care clinic to open in the Lower Mainland. The province’s first clinic opened in Nanaimo in June.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said this clinic will allow people and families “more opportunity to access the services they need and to get a consistent primary care provider.”

It will be open Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The hours in the evening are important. The hours on Saturday are important,” said Dix.

“For many people who often can’t find the way or have to take time off work or get babysitters to get access to an appointment, providing that range of time and services as we do in urgent and primary care centres is important.”

The clinic is in collaboration with the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC, Fraser Health and Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice.

Dix said that nurse practitioner primary care clinics are “developed and run by nurse practitioners and are an integral part of our government’s comprehensive strategy to transform B.C.’s health-care system.”

“The clinics are a patient-centred solution to improving access to the everyday health care, and we know that compared to other jurisdictions in Canada, B.C. has not made the best use of nurse practitioners. The Axis Primary Care Clinic will help connect more people with the care they need, when they need it, closer to home.”

He added that there are “obviously there are people in the region who don’t have primary care or a doctor or a nurse practitioner.”

The plan, Dix said, is to connect up to 6,800 people with a nurse practitioner.

According to the ministry, roughly 100,000 people in Surrey-North Delta don’t have access to a primary care provider. Of that, 15,000 people are in Cloverdale.

READ ALSO: Health minister hints at plans for second Surrey urgent primary care centre, Nov. 26, 2019

READ ALSO: Surrey now has second urgent and primary care centre, in Newton, premier says, May 27, 2020

Simrin Sangha, a nurse practitioner and the local project manager for Axis, said nurse practitioners are able “to autonomously assess, diagnose and treat the broad range of health conditions across the lifespan.”

Some services at the clinic would include regular and follow-up visits for new symptoms; chronic disease management; pregnany, prenatal and postpartum care; contraception advice and treatment options; medication prescription refills; and harm-reduction strategies.

Dr. Victoria Lee, president and CEO of Fraser Health, said primary care plays an “integral role” in health services and systems.

“Primary care is where patients and families go on a day-to-day basis to take care of their daily health needs, chronic disease management and sometimes some urgent concerns, whether it’s addressing mental health concerns or maternity issues … I think having that relationship in a team-based comprehensive primary care setting is so important.”

To apply as a patient for the clinic, visit npclinics.ca/axis.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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