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

Victoria’s Other Secret not so secret anymore

How six Mount Doug teachers turned a lunch jam into $11,000 raised for charity

PHOTOS: Inside the opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium

The grand opening of the expanded stadium in Langford is on schedule for Aug. 24

Take your opportunity to sing at the Royal Theatre

Great Canadian Sing debuts Sept. 8 with inspirational music, talented performers, singalong format

Award-nominated Snotty Nose Rez Kids headline Indigifest 2019 coming to Victoria

Scheduled for Aug. 24, the event is a showcase of Indigenous musicians from around B.C.

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Most Read