Houston 24/7 health care not an option

A Northern Health review of Houston services deemed 24/7 care "not feasible" based on health provider input and comparison to similar towns.

Northern Health deemed 24/7 health care in Houston not feasible.

The decision came out of the Houston Health Services Review released by Northern Health February 6.

The review was done by three health professionals, and centred on 53 interviews with Houston physicians, staff and stakeholders last September.

Stakeholders include Houston council, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, Link to Learning, Community Services, Houston Hospice, RCMP and Ambulance services, said Cormac Hikisch, Health Service Administrator with Northern Health.

The review states that physicians, nurses, and other health care service providers were unanimous in agreeing that 24/7 care is not an option for Houston.

It looked at doctor resources, numbers of patients, and distance to higher levels of care and compared Houston to similar communities.

Houston already has limited access to doctors, and the review says there is concern that expanding hours at the Health Centre would make it more difficult to recruit doctors and medical staff.

Looking at patient data from 2011 to 2014, the review states that on average, two patients per week are transferred to the Smithers Hospital which is 64 kilometres away.

Less than one patient a week is transferred after the Houston Health Centre is closed.

“The transfer rate is low and the type of transfers to the next level of care is appropriate,” the report says.

Comparing Houston to similar communities, the review found that “the level of services available in Houston is similar to comparative communities.”

In Fraser Lake, 2,738 people are served by a Health Centre open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, with no after-hours service.

After-hours calls for Ambulance go straight to Vanderhoof which is 58 kilometres away.

Valemount has 1,100 people served by the Diagnostic and Treatment Centre with an urgent care unit.

The centre is open 365 days a year: Monday to Friday they’re open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on weekends 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

After-hours or on statutory holidays, Ambulance takes the calls, summoning an on-call nurse or doctor if needed.

Patients needing higher-levels of care are transferred to the McBride Hospital 84 kilometres away.

Mackenzie has 4,090 people served by the Mackenzie Hospital open 24/7.

The Hospital has a Health Centre open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and an Emergency Room which takes more serious issues and after-hour care.

Patients needing higher-levels of care go to the UNBC Hospital in Prince George 190 kilometres away (over two hours drive).

“In sum, the population and the distance to the next level of care define the level of care and corresponding facility type for a community,” the Houston Health Review says.

“The type of after-hours care is also determined by the population and the distance to the next level of care as well as by the presence or absence of a physician after hours call arrangement.”

“The level of services available in Houston is similar to comparative communities.”

 

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

‘Just like Iron Man’: Calgary surgeon undergoes experimental spinal surgery

Dr. Richi Gill was in a freak accident on a boogie board during a family vacation in Hawaii

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Homicide police investigate assault turned deadly in Surrey

60-year-old man died at hospital after assault

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

A Mother’s Wish: Ryan Shtuka’s mother wants her son to be ‘forever known’

‍‍‍‍‍“Let me tell you a story …. it all began with a boy named Ryan”

Most Read