B.C.'s health minister has announced the establishment of three new primary care networks and one new urgent primary care centre for Burnaby.

The new urgent care centre at 7315 Edmonds St. will offer a range of primary care needs, and extended hours in the evening and on weekends. In a second phase opening, the centre will have an incubator clinic, Adrian Dix said Thursday. 

The three new primary care networks through Burnaby will focus on specific needs of the community and health services identified as high priority.

This includes extended and after-hours services for comprehensive primary care, and primary care for priority populations including seniors and immigrants. They were designed to better meet the needs of patients who require specialized services such as frail seniors and mental health and addictions.

“We need to change our health care system so that we can get all the care we need... Approximately 40,000 people in Burnaby are currently without a primary care provider... We want people to get the care in their community and not end up in the emergency department,” Dix said.

“Team-based care that responds to the needs of each community, as identified by those working in them, is going to be the back bone of the new primary-care system in B.C. and will be how patients’ everyday health-care needs are met today, tomorrow and beyond.”

The “team-based care” could see a wide range of health care workers working together at these locations. Teams could include doctors, nurses, mental health and substance abuse clinicians, social workers, pharmacists, medical office assistants, physiotherapists, counsellors and more.

The board chair of Burnaby Division of Family Practice, Dr. Charlene Lui, said, “As a team we will be able to wrap care around our most vulnerable patients. Through this collaboration we will better meet the health care needs of patients in Burnaby in a sustainable and holistic way. As someone who committed their life to work and live in Burnaby, this is exciting.”