British Columbia's health minister has announced the opening of the province's fifth urgent primary care centre in order to lessen demand on emergency departments.

Adrian Dix says the facility opening in downtown Vancouver on Monday will provide treatment on evenings and weekends.

The centres are part of the government's plan to reform primary care through a "team-based" approach that includes a doctor and other health-care providers including nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

Dix says the approach is necessary because 750,000 people in the province do not have a family doctor and often end up going to hospital emergency rooms.

He says in the new year, the Vancouver facility will provide access to four family doctors in the same building.

The government plans to open 10 such centres in the province by next spring.