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

Greens, Liberals, NDP field Fraser-Nicola candidates ahead of October election

Incumbent Jackie Tegart has two opposing candidates after snap election called Monday

Work has started on 20 units of seniors’ housing in Clinton

Much-delayed project has been in the works for almost a decade

Cache Creek firefighters plan bigger, better Halloween fireworks

‘With so much uncertainty in the world it’s nice to know that one community event is staying intact’

Volunteers welcome at this year’s Black Powder Desert Rendezvous

Plus farmers’ markets, an art show, a bottle drive, a Fire Prevention Week contest, and more

Ashcroft looks into hiring bylaw officer with Cache Creek, Clinton

Funding available to help communities hire bylaw during COVID-19 state of emergency

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Most Read