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Island Health focusing on needs of aging population

The Island Health Board got a look at their year-end statistics yesterday. In a typical day, 16 babies were born on Vancouver Island and over the course of the year about 28,000 people visited a family physician, 911 people showed up at an ER and doctors performed 168 surgeries.

There was also a 6.4 per cent increase in emergency department visits and a 1.5 per cent increase in hospital admissions.

Island Health’s Sarah Plank says they’re putting more focus on primary care and prevention programs to try to reduce that number.

Don Hubbard, Island Health’s Board Chair, part of the challenge is related to the fact that the population is aging and people are living longer.

He says along with home care, making sure people have a family doctor is key. Hubbard says the Oceanside Health Centre is a prime example of how connecting people with GPs and specialists is help to take the pressure of ERs.

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Island Health also says there have been more than 11,000 patients through the doors of the new Urgent Care Centre in Oceanside since it opened last September. That’s about 57 patients a day.

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