VANCOUVER -- The B.C. government is adding 22 primary care networks in 13 regions where teams of health professionals will provide services for patients without a family doctor.

The networks connect care providers including doctors and nurse practitioners in a particular area with an aim to provide faster service.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the new networks in regions such as the central Okanagan and the East Kootenays will be added over the next three years to 17 that already exist.

He says about 470 health-care professionals will be hired and existing networks include pharmacists and counsellors providing mental health services for substance users.

Dix says the goal is to provide faster and more convenient care, including at 19 primary and urgent care centres that are open on weekends and evenings in some cases.

He says there will be challenges in hiring nurses, for example, but the province has increased training spots in anticipation of filling some openings.