Surrey will soon be home to an urgent/primary care centre opened by an independent operator.
The health-care hub in Guildford will offer expanded care to new Canadians as well as area residents, with low-cost dentistry, on-site pharmacy and other services.
The Lower Mainland Family, Primary and Urgent Care Centre will be part of a three-facility group that includes clinics already operating in Vancouver and Burnaby.
December is the target opening date for the new centre at 10334 152A St., a block east of Guildford Town Centre, in the building that houses Immigrant Services Society of BC’s Surrey Welcome Centre.
The Vancouver facility is “renowned for the humanitarian role it plays in providing new Canadians access to a full suite of wraparound medical services,” according to a news release.
The facility in Guildford will have four doctors, eight exam rooms, two dental chairs and “extensive health support services.”
Clinic manager Amy Sara said that with the capacity of 200 visits per day, the facility will put the region “in a much better position to meet the needs of new Canadians and the increasing demand for family physician services in this ever-growing community.”
The centre “will augment existing health care services in the region by largely serving a population that is not traditionally met by the conventional health care system, with one of the factors being that immigrant or refugee patients in most cases speak very little or no English.”
Clinic team members include doctors Evan Kligman, Dimitrios Vergidis, Ryan Leo and Lakbir Singh.
“This clinic will be a hub for the medical needs of the Surrey community,” Kligman said, “and we are humbled to play a bigger, stronger role in providing primary care and playing a pivotal role in health care delivery. We work in collaboration with the health authorities, but have the autonomy to be more flexible if we need to stay open longer, or expand capacity to meet patient needs as they arise.”
Singh said Surrey needs more doctors willing to take on patients as their family doctor.
“It is hard enough for regular B.C. residents to find a family doctor,” Singh said. “The problem is even more magnified for new immigrants. This clinic will part of the solution for all citizens.”
Surrey is currently home to two Fraser Health-operated urgent and primary care centres. The one in Whalley, at 9639 137A St., opened in 2018, and the facility in Newton, at 6830 King George Blvd., opened in May.
The centres provide same-day care for people needing help within 12 to 24 hours but who don’t require an emergency department. This includes patients with sprains, minor cuts and burns, high fevers and minor infections.
In May, Premier John Horgan noted that some 90,000 people in Surrey don’t have a family doctor. “For too many people the struggle to find a doctor has now been relieved, because of these community endeavours,” Horgan said when the Newton centre opened. “The urgent and primary care centre we’re announcing today will alleviate a great deal of pressure on those families.”