Qualicum Beach health clinic opens in permanent location

Photo by Kevin Forsyth
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A health clinic is providing Oceanside residents with more opportunities to see a nurse practitioner or family physician in its new location.

Flowerstone Family Health Clinic recently opened in its permanent location at 744A Memorial Ave in Qualicum Beach. The clinic had been operating out of a temporary location since October 2020, according to a Ministry of Health media release.

“Our priority is to provide longitudinal primary care to the Oceanside residents who are without a primary care provider. As the primary care network develops, we look forward to building a team-based approach that will improve the overall health care of our patients and this community,” said Liz Gilmour, clinic director.

2,150 patients have registered at the clinic as of Jan. 21, according to the ministry. People without a primary care provider and who live in Parksville, Qualicum Beach and rural Oceanside areas, including Errington, Coombs and Bowser, can register online through the Health Connect Registry (HCR). The clinic does not currently accept walk-ins.

Patients can book virtual appointments with nurse practitioners Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In-person and same-day, team-based primary care appointments are available when necessary, according to the release. 

“The team will eventually include nurse practitioners, physicians, Indigenous wellness advocates, nurses, mental-health and substance-use clinicians, social workers and pharmacists,” said Dr. Mark Morris, chair, Central Island Division of Family Practice.

Flowerstone has recruited five full-time equivalent (FTE) nurse practitioners, two FTE medical office assistants and an inter-professional health team, including a 0.5 FTE registered nurse and a 0.3 FTE pharmacist. It is recruiting an additional nurse practitioner and two physicians to join the multidisciplinary team, according to the Ministry of Health.

The clinic is owned and operated by the Flowerstone Health Society, a non-governmental organization responsible for managing daily operations. The B.C. government said it will provide annual operating funding of around $1.9 million when fully staffed. $1.4 million has been provided for startup costs.

Services available include:

-new client intake and screening visits

-regular/followup visits with clients concerning:

-new symptom or diagnosis;

-chronic disease management, including diabetes, asthma and heart disease;

-primary care during pregnancy/prenatal/postpartum care;

-contraception advice and treatment options;

-mental-health assessment/treatment/support;

-substance use and addiction treatment/support;

-medication prescription refills;

-screening, e.g., sexually transmitted infections, well child checks, cervical cancer/PAP smears);

-treatments/procedures, e.g., intrauterine device insertion, cerumen (ear wax removal);

-referrals to medical specialist and social services and completing forms;

-support with systems navigation (health care and social systems) with a community health worker;

-support with social determinants of health (finance, housing, education, etc.) with a social worker;

-future outreach to local community partners; and

-harm-reduction supplies.

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