Starting today, expectant parents in the Cariboo-Chilcotin have improved access to maternity care close to home thanks to a new clinic at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.
The maternity care clinic is a partnership between Interior Health (IH) and the Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice and is now accepting referrals.
"We are thrilled about the opening of the maternity clinic and what it means for expectant parents, babies and families in the community," said Dr. Ivan Scrooby, family medicine maternity physician in Williams Lake. "The dedicated local facility will allow us to see patients without a referral, provide more comprehensive care, and work as a collaborative team to achieve better outcomes for patients."
The maternity clinic will operate Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be staffed by four physicians, who will provide full scope maternity care. It will have a centralized referral system and will also be supported by a full-time Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and a medical office assistant (MOA).
Maternity patients will be seen with or without a family care provider and the clinic will accept self-referrals. The comprehensive care model will encompass prenatal care, labour and delivery and postpartum support among other services. IH and the Division are also considering ways to expand the services in the clinic to offer other women’s health-care services.
Having a clinical space, centralized referral system and dedicated nursing and administrative support will improve access to pregnant and expecting parents and ensure that they can easily receive the care they need with or without a family care provider. The clinic is also expected to help attract and retain health-care providers by creating a sustainable and supportive practice environment.
“Collaboration between IH and the Division to establish the maternity clinic demonstrates a joint commitment to addressing the challenges faced by rural communities in accessing care close to home,” said Jill Zirnhelt, executive director, Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice. “Both organizations are dedicated to creating diverse opportunities for providers to attract and retain new health-care professionals in the area.”
Expectant parents without a primary provider can directly book an appointment by calling 250-302-3294. The clinic is located on the main floor of Cariboo Memorial Hospital in room 1207 (behind the main reception desk).