Addictions Minister Judy Darcy announced five extra health professional for Kelowna’s opioid agonist treatment clinic in Kelowna on Friday. (Interior Health)

Interior Health opioid addiction clinic adds evening, weekend appointments

Funding will add three new doctors and two nurse practitioners

Interior Health’s opioid agonist treatment clinic in Kelowna is expected to be able to help twice the patients as before following an influx of funding from the province and Interior Health.

On Friday, Addictions Minister Judy Darcy announced that three new physicians and two nurse practitioners would be added to the clinic, which would allow the facility to offer treatment on evenings and weekends.

Opioid agonist treatment (OAT) is an evidence-based, first-line treatment that uses prescribed medications, such as suboxone and methadone.

“Every day, here in Kelowna and across B.C., we see how OAT saves lives, reduces withdrawal symptoms, and helps people find a pathway to healing and hope,” said Darcy. “Expanding access to this life-saving treatment means that more people can get the help they need when they need it.”

The clinic’s increased hours will allow it to adopt a “rapid access model” of walk-in access from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and appointments in the evening and weekends will help patients who otherwise can’t get in during work hours.

Interior Health board chair Doug Cochrane said that “particularly in light of the ongoing overdose emergency, we need to remove as many barriers to service as possible.”

The overdose crisis claimed 232 lives in Interior Health’s area in 2018.

READ MORE: B.C. opioid overdoses still killing four people a day, health officials say

READ MORE: B.C. moves to curb high number of overdose deaths by recent inmates


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Kimberley Food Recovery Depot continues to operate

The Kimberley Food Recovery Depot continues to do its good work despite… Continue reading

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

Local business provides first responders with 22 bottles of hand-sanitizer amid shortages

By: Jesse Heinrichs A hand-sanitizer shortage has hit some of the people… Continue reading

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read