Island Health officials are considering sending patients to hotels for rehab due to the growing pressure on the hospital system.
In an internal memo to rehabilitation coordinators, Island Health is considering moving people ready for hospital discharge to a hotel before leaving home.
Olx Praca Health Minister Adrian Dix acknowledged in the legislature on Tuesday that this is “an extremely challenging time for healthcare, but hospitals on Vancouver Island remain ready to serve patients in need of care.
According to a survey, 40% of British Columbians fear losing their family doctor.
“Never a patient in need of emergency care will be sent to a hotel room, period,” Dix said.
“The leaflet referred to by the participant was a leaflet for rehabilitation coordinators who are responsible for discharge. From time to time, we support people who are ready to be discharged, but various problems arise in their home or in their circumstances that make it difficult for them to be discharged.”
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The memo describes the “census situation” at hospitals in Victoria, including Royal Jubilee and Victoria General Hospital.
The internal email was first reported by Capital Daily in Victoria.
Island Health said in a statement that hospitals are experiencing a very busy time right now, but hospitals are open and ready to take care of anyone in need of care.
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The health authority added that there is and never has been a plan to house hospital patients in need of emergency care in hotel rooms.
“Island Health sometimes uses hotel rooms to temporarily support people who no longer need emergency care when their life situations are unstable or unresolved—for example, someone who is homeless or awaiting a bed at another facility but no longer needs inpatient care. “, the statement said.
“The memorandum is about discharge scheduling to deal with capacity issues, not about people needing emergency care.”
The statement notes that on April 24, the Saanich Peninsula Hospital was briefly (45 minutes) transferred to an emergency hospital.
Patients who arrived by ambulance were transferred to Victoria General Hospital. The SPH emergency department remained open to patients.
There are various problems exacerbating the already taxed hospital system.
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The recent increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and staff absenteeism due to COVID-19 has put pressure on hospitals.
Victoria also experiences a significant shortage of doctors, with waiting times for a doctor’s appointment at a polyclinic in the metropolitan area higher than anywhere else in the province.
These situations lead to more people going to emergency departments for primary care.
The return to normal activities, including children playing sports, also resulted in more emergency room visits.
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The latest trend seen in the healthcare system is an increase in the number of cases being treated for those who were not diagnosed with problems in the midst of the COVID pandemic.
“It is important to ensure transparency. Today, it is very important to ensure transparency and give a proper assessment of the situation in our public health system,” Dix said.
“These measures are to deal with the capacity in our healthcare system – we have been taking them for two years now.”
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