West Kelowna renews push for urgent care centre

City council enlisting doctors to help win support for health care centre in Westbank

West Kelowna is asking local doctors to join its effort to have an urgent care health centre built in the city.

Following council’s decision last month to press Interior Health to build the centre on land it owns in Westbank, the city will now seek support from the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice, which includes family physicians in West Kelowna, Kelowna, Lake Country and Peachland.

“Support from this organization will greatly improve the chances of both (the Interior Health Authority) and the Ministry of Health making a decision to construct the facility within West Kelowna for the benefit of the Greater Westside,” says a report by city chief administrative officer Jim Zaffino which was presented to council Tuesday afternoon.

The city had already written to Peachland, the Westbank First Nation, Kelowna and the regional district seeking support for the new facility in Westbank.

A few years ago, Interior Health decided not to proceed with a plan to build an urgent care centre in West Kelowna after studying the issue. A version was also included in the civic centre plan for Westbank that was rejected by voters in a referendum in 2016.

IH already owns land in Westbank where a facility was slated to go in the early 2000s. Part of it must remain available for agriculture, but half could be used for the new facility under a past ruling from the ALC.

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