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

Gilmore Lake Fire burning near Topley

Evacuation alert and order in effect

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Houston council supports “multi-species approach” to protect caribou

This approach would include predator management

Gilmore Lake fire 100 per cent contained

The Gilmore Lake Fire, located eight km southwest of Topley, was estimated… Continue reading

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

B.C. woman set for trial in Alberta as animal cruelty investigation continues in home province

Karin Adams was discovered with eight dogs in Alberta weeks after having 16 dogs seized in Quesnel

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Time to kick maverick Tory MP Maxime Bernier out of caucus, Scheer urged

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.”

Thousands of police officers expected at regimental funeral in Fredericton

Two civilians were killed in a shooting in Fredericton that also claimed the lives of two police officers.

2 girls, hand-drawn map in hand, sneak out of B.C. home for adventure

The pair’s escape has transit police reminding commuters to report unusual behaviour

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

B.C. not prepared for a Humboldt Broncos bus crash, group says

An air ambulance advocacy group wants an overhaul of B.C.’s emergency medical system in rural regions

Most Read