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THE Surrey North Delta Division of Family Practice, together with Fraser Health, officially opened the South Asian Health Centre in Surrey on Sunday. The South Asian Health Centre will work with local physicians, health authority services, the community and families to help support people to manage their chronic conditions and improve their overall health. The South Asian Health Centre is located at 6830 King George Highway, offering patients handy access to primary care services.
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The centre will respond to patient care needs in a culturally tailored manner that research has shown to be most effective in improving health outcomes for South Asian patients. Research shows that it doesn’t matter where the community is in the world (Mumbai, New Delhi, the United Kingdom or Surrey, BC), people in the South Asian community are twice as likely to have cardiac disease; four times as likely to have diabetes; and more likely to have a heart attack 10 years before people in other populations.
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The South Asian Health Centre is a collaboration between Fraser Health and the Surrey North Delta Division of Family Practice.  The centre focuses on primary care and chronic disease management services.  Patients will have access to a team of care providers, including nurse practitioners, registered diabetes nurses, and dieticians, with a focus on delivering care that respects culture and builds a treatment plan around individual needs and values. The centre is owned and operated by the Surrey North Delta Division of Family Practice, which is funded by a joint committee of the BC Ministry of Health and the BC Medical Association.
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Nurse practitioners are licensed health professionals who have achieved advanced nursing competencies at the master’s level. They practice autonomously to assess, diagnose, prescribe, order diagnostic tests and manage diseases and disorders and conditions within a professionally regulated scope of practice. Nurse practitioners provide health services that contribute to the health and well-being of British Columbians across their lifespans.

The nurse practitioner position is funded through the Province’s Nurse Practitioners for BC (NP4BC) program, which launched in fall 2012. NP4BC provides opportunities for existing nurse practitioners, as well as new graduate nurse practitioners, to be fully integrated in the health-care system. The majority of nurse practitioners will work in primary health-care settings, such as the South Asian Health Centre, but may also work in residential care or other community settings. To date, 87 new nurse practitioner positions have been created as result of the program.

Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk, MLA for Surrey-Tynehead, said: “Providing culturally relevant and appropriate care will help patients better manage chronic illness, improve their health outcomes, and help them feel comfortable accessing health services.”

Dr. Nigel Murray, President and CEO, Fraser Health, said: “The need for the South Asian Health Centre was identified by local physicians who live and work in the community. They observed common health challenges within the South Asian patient populations, which they believed could be addressed through a culturally-tailored health clinic. Fraser Health is pleased to partner with the Surrey North Delta Division of Family Practice to open the South Asian Health Centre as a solution to this challenge within the community.”

Karol (Kulvinder) Ghuman, Nurse Practitioner, South Asian Health Centre, noted:

“It is a privilege to provide care for members of the South Asian community and to help fill a need for primary health care service for those without a regular family doctor or nurse practitioner.  All staff at the Centre speak one or more South Asian languages, to best serve the needs of the community.”

Dr. Mark Blinkhorn, Director, Surrey-North Delta Division of Family Practice, said: “The clinic will use a multi-disciplinary approach, coupled with culturally tailored practices that research tells us may be most effective in improving health outcomes. The Division is proud to open the doors to this health centre in partnership with Fraser Health, and we are excited to play a role in positively impacting the health and wellness of the communities and physicians we serve.”


(Photos by Chandra Bodalia)