The provincial government today announced an expansion of health services coming to Sooke. The improvements were twofold: First, the existing facilities will be expanded, and second, more medical practitioners will be hired.
Renovations to expand the clinic, which will remain at its location at 1300 – 6660 Sooke Rd., will begin after June 2019. The clinic will remain open in the interim, and then will gradually add new health-care team members. The “new and improved” facility will provide a hybrid of health services, including more patients attached to a family doctor and a walk-in component.
The 4,000 residents of Sooke currently unattached to a healthcare provider will benefit when the West Coast Family Medical Clinic acquires two general practitioners, one nurse practitioner and two registered nurses.
Asked several times about the acquisition of medical staff (there’s a notable challenge attracting doctors for both rural and urban health clinics), Health Minister Adrian Dix repeatedly referenced current provincial efforts to recruit 200 doctors and 250 other medical practitioners, noting they have received 750 expressions of interest.
“This,” said Premier John Horgan, referencing the facilities expansion and the expanded medical team, “is what the people asked for.” He noted that the numbers don’t justify a hospital or another health facility. These improvements were a Sooke-centric solution, created in consultation with Health CHI, the medical clinic and the local government.
“This is the healthcare system of the 21st century,” said Horgan referencing the incorporation of more than doctors to the medical care system. You don’t need to see a general practitioner anymore to get good healthcare, he said.