Reposted from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2023/health/0307n05/
March 7, 2023 – St. John’s, NL: The Provincial Government continues to take meaningful action to reimagine health care in Newfoundland and Labrador based on recommendations of Health Accord NL. Central to the approach is creating a more effective and efficient system that is reflective of the current environment and focused on improved service delivery and health outcomes.
With this in mind, Eastern Health has added urgent care to the Dr. William H. Newhook Community Health Centre in Whitbourne, in addition to its current status as a Primary Care Centre. This combined clinic will provide patients with primary health care, as well as urgent/same-day care for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. Examples of patients who may be seen include:
- Those with sprains and strains;
- Those with new and worsening non-emergent pain, fever, infections (i.e. chest, ear and urinary tract); and
- Childhood illness and injury, cuts, wounds, or skin conditions.
Laboratory and medical imaging services will also be available on site to provide timely access to diagnosis and treatment. More information on Urgent Care Centres can be found here.
Based on current staffing levels, the hours of operation for the Urgent Care Centre will begin with three days a week, eight hours per day, and will increase incrementally, moving to Monday to Friday, 12 hours per day as additional staff are recruited for the area, and eventually to 12 hours, seven days a week. The long-term goal will be extended hours in the evenings, which is also contingent on recruitment. The utilization of the centre will continue to be evaluated, and hours of operation will be increased as demand requires and based on recruitment.
A set number of appointments will be available daily depending on the number of providers. Walk-in appointments will also be available. In addition to providing primary and urgent care, outpatient services will continue to be offered, including diabetes education and outpatient laboratory and medical imaging services Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Provincial Government continues to implement its plan, which places emphasis on addressing short and long-term needs, as well as the recruitment and retention of health care professionals. The creation of an Urgent Care Centre to serve the needs of the people of Whitbourne and surrounding areas is in keeping with this plan.
“We continue to implement innovative solutions to help alleviate the stress on our health care system and provide our residents with access to primary care. Adding urgent care to the Dr. William H. Newhook facility for Whitbourne and surrounding areas will provide patients with enhanced primary health care, as well as urgent/same-day care for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. This is a positive step forward that will help yield positive results by providing care to those who need access but do not need emergency care.”
Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Health and Community Services
“Eastern Health is committed to ensuring that the people we serve receive timely access to the right service, at the right time, in the right place. Urgent Care Centres allow for care in the community, closer to where people live, work and play, and aligns with the vision set out by Health Accord NL. This team-based approach will help families and individuals access same day care in order to stay healthy, manage chronic diseases and recover from illnesses more quickly. Urgent Care Centres are an important part of our plan to transform the health care system and deliver integrated community-based care across the region.”
Vice President, Innovation and Rural Health, Eastern Health
“As the Member of the House of Assembly for the District of Placentia – St. Mary’s, I recognize how challenging the shortage of health care professionals has been for my constituents. I have heard your concerns, and the designation of the Dr. William H. Newhook Community Health Centre as an Urgent Care Centre helps address the immediate health needs of the residents in the area. Utilization of the centre will continue to be evaluated, and I will continue to work with you on this important issue.”
MHA for Placentia – St. Mary’s