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

Young Abbotsford cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Abbotsford parents upset as district gets cohort exemption to maximize class sizes at elementary school

Classes and cohorts shuffled after division eliminated at King Traditional elementary school

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

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

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

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

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Most Read