A 2018 study out of Simon Fraser University suggests homeless people and those with mental illness who have to be re-admitted to hospital for recurring health problems are putting a heavy burden on B.C.’s health care system. (File photo)

Cyclical re-admissions to hospital puts heavy burden on B.C.’s health care system and shelters

Need for housing to be included in discharge plans for vulnerable patients

In the face of recent news out of the Lower Mainland in which two patients were discharged from a hospital in one community and transported by taxi to a homeless shelter in a different community without sufficient resources, Victoria’s situation looks different but not without its own concerns.

“A lot of the time what we see is people with real mental health issues… we send them to the hospital because we don’t have the capacity and then they are sent back right away, without the resources,” said Grant McKenzie, director of communications for Our Place Society. “The turnaround seems to be within a couple of hours.”

RELATED: Fraser Health taxied Surrey homeless patients to Chilliwack shelters, mayor says

If police take people in to the hospital there’s a chance they might be in the mental health ward longer, McKenzie said.

“We don’t want mental health or addiction to be criminal issues, but it seems that if there’s some kind of interaction with the police they get more help,” said McKenzie. “I’ve heard of people faking suicide attempts to get admitted. It really is a cry for help.”

Island Health said that every patient is unique and so are their discharge care plans.

“Island Health provides home supports in many environments including shelters, low barrier and social housing,” said Meribeth Burton, spokesperson for Island Health. “We have outreach teams – nurses and other health professionals – who work with people in the community who lack housing.”

ALSO READ: Housing would cut number of B.C.’s vulnerable re-admitted to hospital: study

A 2018 study out of Simon Fraser University suggests homeless people and those with mental illness who have to be re-admitted to hospital for recurring health problems are putting a heavy burden on B.C.’s health care system.

The report said there is a need for housing to be included in discharge plans for vulnerable patients.

The Canadian Homelessness Research Network, in its 2012 report, The Real Cost of Homelessness, found that housing someone in the housing first model costs about $22,000 per year. That’s about half of the reported $50,000 per year that it costs to maintain the supports of policing, hospital, and social work for someone who is living homeless.

RELATED: Costs of homelessness far outweighs cost of housing says advocate

– with files from Nina Grossman, Ashley Wadhwani, Travis Paterson

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Cartoony’ mushrooms popping up across Vancouver Island are highly poisonous

Fly Agaric mushrooms can cause hallucinations, gastrointestinal pain and death

Marble humpback sculpture wins Oak Bay’s ArtsAlive 2019 People’s Choice Award

Daniel Cline’s Harmony Humpbacks will be recommended for purchase

Access: Technology lags for people with vision, hearing impairments

Accessibility barriers addressed at the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind

Saanich police arrest man who spat on, pulled knife on man who refused to give him a cigarette

Police recommend the 18-year-old be charged for assault with a weapon

Chilean teen brings protest to Victoria streets

Chile’s peaceful protest unseen, says visiting student

WATCH: Artist explains inspiration behind new Oak Bay mural

Oak Bay’s Parade of Play mural might be the biggest in Greater Victoria

POLL: Are you satisfied with the result of the federal election?

The ballots have now been counted and the dust has settled on… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Oct. 22, 2019

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

85-year-old woman perishes in house fire in Cumberland Wednesday

Police and fire personnel were called to the scene of a fire… Continue reading

Beers on the job, smacking crotches: 10 police misconduct probes in B.C.

Recent report by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner highlights a number of investigations

Seizure of cannabis edibles, including mac-and-cheese, prompt warning from B.C. RCMP

Potato chips, cheesecake and candy infused with cannabis also seized back in August

B.C. parents sue city and province in 12-year-old daughter’s drowning at lake

Beverly Park drowned at Rotary Lake in Dawson Creek in August 2016

Island mom warning others as suspicious powder found in mail

“I was very uneasy … it could be coffee whitener or it could be something else in the bag.”

Most Read