Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre is expanding with renovations expected to be complete by this fall. (Island Health/Facebook)

Island Sexual Health expanding physical space and workforce

Island Health looking to hire more health care workers for centre once expansion complete

Residents of Greater Victoria will soon have more access to primary health care with the opening of a larger space and an expanded care team at the Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre.

Four additional examination rooms will be added to the centre, bringing the total number of exam rooms to 10. This will include a room equipped to provide virtual appointments and a large meeting space for group education and teaching sessions. Renovations are expected to be complete in the fall of this year, according to a news release.

READ ALSO: Women shouldn’t risk putting off sexual health care during pandemic, experts say

Community health centres are community-governed, not-for-profit organizations with services tailored to meet the health needs of the communities they serve. This community health centre is governed, owned and operated by Island Sexual Health Society, in partnership with Island Health.

Currently, Island Sexual Health, located at 101-3960 Quadra St., has 4.3 full-time equivalent health-care providers, including registered nurses and general practitioners, who are providing sexual health care for more than 9,000 patients each year.

READ ALSO: Women-only clinics create barriers for trans folks seeking sexual health care

As part of the province’s primary care strategy, Island Sexual Health Society will partner with Island Health to recruit 10.9 full-time equivalent additional health professionals, including nurse practitioners, registered nurses, general practitioners, a counsellor and a community health worker. This enhancement is to include team-based, comprehensive primary care and increase capacity and access to existing sexual health services.

Once the centre is fully staffed, residents will be able to access services including chronic disease management, physical and mental health assessments, management of complex sexual health, gender-affirming care, sexually transmitted infection testing, HIV treatment, wound care, treatment and support, immunizations, group programs, and counselling.

The province will be providing annual and ongoing funding of approximately $2.6 million and just over $1.1 million of one-time funding through Island Health to support the expansion of the Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre.

Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre will also support primary care network planning in Victoria. It is the second community health centre in B.C. to be announced as part of the province’s primary care strategy and the first one in Victoria. In June 2020, RISE Community Health Centre opened its primary location in Vancouver.


 

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