The University Hospital of Northern BC is currently experiencing higher-than-normal volumes of patients, and Northern Health is both working on and looking forward to measures that will reduce pressure on the UHNBC emergency department, and improve the overall flow of patients.
Improving the flow of patients through UHNBC from admission to discharge is critical to managing the challenges experienced during periods of high demand for services. These periods occur at various times of the year, including peak season for circulation of viruses such as the return to school, and influenza season. Increased demand for services, including patients who are elderly or requiring care for chronic conditions, can also contribute to high patient volumes.
Northern Health is looking forward to additional investments in UHNBC to meet growth in the community, projected shifts in demographics, and anticipated changes in healthcare delivery. This includes a current project to add 24 medical inpatient beds on the hospital’s second floor.
While this work continues, Northern Health reminds the public of steps they can take to help avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital:
- Patients who aren’t sure whether their condition would warrant an emergency room visit, or who need health advice can call HealthLink BC (8-1-1), or visit www.HealthLinkBC.ca for non-emergency health information from nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists 24/7.
- For deaf and hearing-impaired assistance (TTY), call 7-1-1.
- For non-urgent care, use community health services including your family practitioner or walk-in clinics, where available.
- If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control at 1-800-567-8911.
- If you have a cold, call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 for advice, or ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms.
- Remember, flu season is approaching; check immunizebc.ca for clinic dates.
If at any time you believe you require urgent medical attention, do not hesitate to go to the emergency department, or call 9-1-1 for transportation.