Improving access to team-based primary care in Burnaby

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 61 , No. 4 , May 2019 , Pages 158 News

Three primary-care networks (PCNs) and the new Burnaby Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC) are coming to Burnaby in May 2019. The PCNs and UPCC will recruit approximately 68 new health care providers over the next 3 years, including 10 general practitioners, 10 nurse practitioners, 3 clinical pharmacists, and 45 nursing and allied health care professionals.

The three networks will be the Brentwood/Hastings PCN, Edmonds PCN, and Metrotown PCN. A fourth PCN located in the Lougheed region will be developed in the future.

Currently, Burnaby has 45 primary care clinics participating in the PCN and 133 general practitioners. The networks will partner new and existing health care professionals with the health authority and community organizations as part of a networked, team-based approach to providing care.

The Burnaby Urgent and Primary Care Centre, located in the Edmonds PCN, is the sixth centre to be announced in BC. The centre will open in two phases. The first phase offers extended hours evenings and weekends and will increase access to team-based care for a range of primary-care needs. In the second phase, the centre will host an incubator clinic to support experienced family physicians in mentoring new family physicians, consolidate nursing and allied health resources, and work to attach people in need of regular primary care.

In addition, once fully developed, the Metrotown PCN will also form a Centre for Healthy Communities that will support an incubator clinic. Centres for Healthy Communities are hubs for co-location of practitioner, health authority, and community services and resources. They will serve as the focal points in the PCN to anchor, integrate, and support services and providers to serve the entire neighborhood.

The three PCNs will focus on the specific needs of the community and improve health services identified as high priority for each community, including:

  • Enhanced access to regular, extended, and after-hours services for comprehensive primary care.
  • Improved access to primary-care services for priority populations including seniors and immigrants.
  • Team-based resources to better meet the needs of low- to moderate-complexity patients requiring specialized services including for frail seniors and mental health and addictions.

The PCNs will operate in close partnership and collaboration with the Division of Family Practice and Fraser Health primary care networks being implemented in Fraser Northwest communities.

The Ministry of Health will provide approximately $12 million in annual operating funding to the Burnaby networks and UPCC by the third year, as new positions are added and patients are attached. To learn more about the province’s primary health care strategy, visit To learn more about the Fraser Northwest primary care networks, visit

. Improving access to team-based primary care in Burnaby. BCMJ, Vol. 61, No. 4, May, 2019, Page(s) 158 - News.

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