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

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

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

Crews disassemble the iconic red and white KFC bucket from a sign on Goldstream Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Mark Schoor)
Iconic KFC bucket removed from Goldstream Avenue

Popular fast-food chain closes Langford location

One person is dead after a camper van caught fire Thursday morning in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: One person dead after vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park

Investigation into Victoria death in early stages

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Most Read