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Five Greater Victoria walk-in clinics get funding for doctor, nurse positions

Province announces $3.46 million in support as 3 other local clinics set to close this year
New provincial funding will help stabilize five walk-in clinics in Greater Victoria in 2022. (File photo)

The province announced $3.46 million on Friday for short-term support at five Greater Victoria walk-in clinics.

The boost will go toward the Esquimalt Medical Clinic, Shoreline Medical clinics in Brentwood Bay and Sidney, West Coast Family Medical Clinic in Sooke, and West Saanich Medical Clinic.

The Ministry of Health said the funding will give some stability to the clinics as the province works with partners to find long-term solutions.

The $3.46 million is going toward the equivalent of about 10 full-time family physician contracts across the walk-in clinics for the rest of this year.

The funds will also add almost seven full-time equivalent registered nurse and allied health positions at the five locations. Those positions will be redeployed as permanent additions across local primary care networks next year.

The province said discussions are ongoing about a pilot program that would focus on recruiting new-to-practice family physicians to provide coverage in Greater Victoria.

READ: West Shore walk-in clinic closing due to chronic physician shortage

Three regional clinics – in Colwood, View Royal and James Bay – have closed in 2022 or are set to shut their doors soon, impacting thousands of patients.

The province said measures announced Friday are the result of local engagement in recent months by a task force made up of the Ministry of Health, Island Health and the South Island Division of Family Practice, along with local walk-in clinics and primary care practices.

The province noted approximately 130,000 Greater Victoria patients will be supported in the coming years through six primary care networks, five urgent and primary care centres already operating across the region, a nurse practitioner-led clinic in Victoria, and three community health centres set to open soon.

READ: James Bay walk-in clinic services winding down in advance of doctor’s retirement

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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