This issue features articles on preparing for cold weather in the face of climate change, West Coast General Hospital's emergency department expansion, research on alcohol and your health, Care and Connection kiosk's that provide life-saving supplies and more.
Island Health is consolidating urgent and primary care services on Christmas Day to reduce the risk of last-minute closures due to limited staffing challenges. Considering traditionally low demand on these three days at UPCCs, Island Health anticipates these sites will meet demand ensuring the public has access to the care they need.
Aligned with Island Health's commitment to attracting more health-care professionals to the island, this collaboration emphasizes the critical role of local community support in strengthening rural healthcare systems. This partnership, established in May, has accommodated 14 health-care professionals, contributing to the improvement of healthcare services for the local community.
Over the past two years, West Coast General Hospital investments to strengthen services and support care team providers included a $6.25 million, 244-square-metre (2,626-square-foot) expansion of the emergency department. Improvements include complete modernization of the Emergency Department, three new patient exam rooms, new space for patients awaiting tests and results, new front entry to the triage and admitting area, and a dedicated entrance for ambulances.
People who inhale illicit drugs now have access to a permanent indoor inhalation overdose prevention service in downtown Victoria, as part of ongoing efforts to respond to the toxic drug supply public health emergency and save lives.
People who experience acute and severe mental health challenges which significantly impact on their day-to-day life, can now receive recovery-oriented, trauma-informed treatment through an intensive Island Health day program based in Victoria.