What is an Urgent and Primary Care Centre? Ministry of Health


What is an Urgent and Primary Care Centre?

Urgent and Primary Care Centres (UPCCs) are an important piece of our primary and community care strategy. They were first introduced to the province in 2018, with the creation of five new UPCCs in the West Shore (Langford), Vancouver, Quesnel, Surrey and Kamloops.

The goal of UPCCs is to provide a flexible resource to meet both the urgent and ongoing primary care needs of people in communities (primarily in larger urban centres) across the province. UPCCs will work to address several key problems currently faced by patients and health care providers:

  1. Many people do not have a regular family physician (GP) or nurse practitioner (NP), and as a result they must consistently visit walk-in clinics or the emergency department when they need primary care.
  2. People go to the emergency department when they have a regular provider, but are not able to get a same-day or next day appointment when unexpected urgent medical issues arise.
  3. Physicians and health care providers are unable to add team-based capacity to their clinics (such as a nurse or other allied health care provider) because their current space or lease arrangements do not allow for expansion.

UPCCs will help to address all these challenges by serving three main purposes. They will provide urgent care to patients who have health needs that should be attended to within 12 to 24 hours, but do not need the level of service found in an emergency department. They will have net new capacity for attaching patients to a GP/NP for their longitudinal primary care needs. They will be a team-based care clinic with interdisciplinary professionals who will support the urgent and ongoing care needs of all patients in the community, whether unattached, attached at the UPCC or attached elsewhere in the community.

They will provide an alternative to going to the emergency department by offering urgent care services, specifically:

  • Basic in-office emergency services for sprains or simple fractures, minor cuts requiring stitches, mild to moderate breathing difficulties, minor burns or rapid access to mental health and substance use crisis intervention services;
  • Assessment and treatment for minor illnesses, such as respiratory infections, eye irritation, fever or flu, skin rashes, urinary tract infections or abdominal pain; and
  • On-site or close proximity access to diagnostic imaging and lab services that maintain the same hours as the clinic, such as x-rays, point of care testing and blood tests.

To read more, click on https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/services-and-resources/upcc