B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie and Health Minister Adrian Dix. (B.C. government)

COVID-19: B.C.’s ‘hospital at home’ program to start in Victoria

Hospital care comes to patients, similar to Australia’s effort

B.C.’s health care system has struggled to provide enough home care services for elderly and chronically ill people, but now in the COVID-19 pandemic, some acute care cases are going to be treated at home as well.

Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the “hospital at home” program as part of their preparations for the winter season that could produce a surge of hospitalizations for coronavirus along with the seasonal influenza that causes spikes in hospital admissions each winter.

The new program will begin at Victoria General Hospital this fall and then roll out at other B.C. hospitals later. It’s modelled on Australia’s “hospital in the home” program that officials there say is showing good results.

“The approach is to make sure that eligible patients can get the care they need outside of an acute care facility, and ensuring that of course they can get that care in their own home,” Horgan said. “For many patients, especially elderly, this means that they will be able to avoid complications that often-times emerge in our acute-care facilities. Hospital at home reduces pressure on hospitals, and of course it’s critically important as we go into the flu season that we make sure our hospitals are not congested when they don’t have to be.”

Opening hospital space for a potential surge of COVID-19 cases plus influenza and other winter illness and injury is the focus for B.C.’s health ministry, which had to empty more than half of its acute care beds in the early months of the pandemic. That includes an expanded influenza vaccine campaign this fall, and doubling B.C.’s COVID-19 testing capacity to 20,000 tests a day.

A northern B.C. hospital is next to introduce hospital at home, where hospital space and home care are scarcer commodities, and paramedics have been assigned to home health checks to give them enough work to make a living in small communities.

2016: Home care spread thin, B.C. seniors’ advocate says

2018: Too many seniors in B.C. care facilities, or on drugs

2020: Surge in home care complaints concerns advocate


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

BC Supreme Court tosses out application to stop work on Highlands quarry

Highlands District Community Association will not suffer irreparable harm if work begins, says judge

Victoria council pushes for December byelection

City staff concerned with timeframe and planning needs prior to byelection

Island Sexual Health expanding physical space and workforce

Island Health looking to hire more health care workers for centre once expansion complete

Charity tackling ‘weekend hunger gap’ bracing for tripling of students in need

Backpack Buddies was serving 1,300 students per week in March, by June that number doubled

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Most Read