King Street has been a royal model
A recently opened North Kamloops clinic aimed at helping people hampered by mental-health and substance-abuse issues is being looked at as a potential model for future facilities across B.C.
Since it opened last November, the King Street clinic has seen more than 700 clients pass through its doors — patients who speak with doctors about issues ranging from rehabilitation to chronic-disease management to smoking cessation, among others.
A joint venture between the Interior Health Authority and the Thompson Region Division of Family Practice, the clinic helps clients who would otherwise struggle to receive health care.
“The process has included collaboration between psychiatry, the Division of Family Practice and Interior Health’s mental-health and substance-use program staff,” said Shirley Sze, physician lead for the Thompson Division of Family Practice.
“It is the enthusiasm of all the parties involved that have made King Street a true multi-disciplinary clinic serving patients who may have never received primary care.”
The King Street model — touted as a “collaborative, multi-disciplinary clinic” — is now being looked at for other B.C. communities.
“This is a great example of integration at work,” said Norman Embree, the Interior Health Authority’s board chairman.
“The staff and physicians involved have developed a diverse range of services to make sure we are providing the right care at the right time and in the right place.”
The King Street clinic is staffed by a general-practice physician.
There are also weekly sessions with a street nurse.
In addition, clients can access life-skills education, counselling and pharmacy services.
It is, in effect, a communal family doctor for people with mental-health and substance-abuse issues.
“We know that a large proportion of this population don’t have a family doctor they can turn to for care,” said Kamloops-North Thompson Liberal MLA Terry Lake.
“We also know that, for a for a variety of reasons, many of them have complex health needs that really require consistent monitoring and management.”