New $3.9 million urgent care and primary care centre opens in Port Moody

Starting today, Port Moody is getting a little more care.

A new, $3.9 million urgent and primary care centre opened at 3105 Murray Street today.

With seven exam rooms, the health facility is expected to treat 70,000 patients each year for urgent but non-life threatening conditions like cuts and burns, as well as mental health and substance-abuse issues.

The centre is also slated to help patients find a family doctor through a partnership with the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice.

“This is exciting news for the communities in the Tri-Cities,” stated Rick Glumac, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam in a press release.

“The new Urgent and Primary Care Centre is a meaningful step toward meeting the health-care needs of people who may not have a regular family doctor and improving access to medical care for all people in the community,” he stated.

A team of 25.5 full-time healthcare workers are slated to operate out of the 6,500 square-foot facility, including five family physicians, five registered nurses, six nurse practitioners, and the equivalent of 9.5 full-time allied health professionals (social workers, dietitians, physiotherapists, clinical counsellors, support staff).

A temporary location previously operating at Eagle Ridge Hospital logged 20,507 patient visits and sent 838 of those patients to a regular primary-care provider, according to the province.

Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, the inpatient occupancy rate at Eagle Ridge Hospital topped 100 percent for eight straight years, according to documents released through a freedom of information request.

Between 2012 and 2020, the hospital’s occupancy rate hit a high of 117.1 percent and a low of 101.5 percent.

This is the 21st UPCC announced by the current NDP government, and the seventh in the Fraser Health region, according to the province.

UPCC’s are part of the provincial strategy to streamline and coordinate services and programs. The Port Moody location is connected to local primary care network, division of family practices, and Indigenous partners from the he Kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Qiqéyt (Key-Kayt) and Coast Salish Nations.

“The new urgent and primary-care centre in Port Moody will help meet the health-care needs of the rapidly growing and aging population, and address the gap in primary-care availability for those without a family doctor,” said Minister of Health Adrian Dix.

Many people in the community are currently without access to primary care, said Dr. Paras Mehta, co-chair and physician lead of Fraser Northwest Primary Care Network.

“Port Moody, in particular, is lacking in access due to a variety of obstacles that make it challenging for new providers to set up practice,” Mehta.

“We look forward to the Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Port Moody creating space for primary-care providers.”

Patients seeking urgent care will be able to access the facility seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., while the office connecting patients with a primary care provider will be open from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Total annual operating costs will be approximately $5 million, according to the province.

The facility will allow walk-in, or patients may receive referrals from other healthcare providers; appointments will be prioritized during busy hours.

Patients should visit the facility if they have:

Patients can park in three underground parking stalls accessed via Electronic Avenue just south of the clinic, according to information provided by Fraser Health.

Free, short-term street parking is available on Murray Street and at Rocky Point Park. A paid parking lot is available at Moody Centre SkyTrain Station. The SkyTrain station is an approximately 1.1-kilometre walk from the clinic.

Both the 181 and 182 bus routes include a stop just outside the clinic.

Patrick Penner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Tri-Cities Dispatch