The Urgent Treatement Facility
In 2006, when the Community Health Centre was just a glimmer in Gabriolans’ eyes, one of the Guiding Principles defined by the Gabriola Health Care Society was the need for a facility that was “locally accessible, delivering health care services on Island and by Island providers wherever possible“.
As part of the attainment of this goal the community built an Urgent Treatment Facility (UTF) on the main floor of the Gabriola Community Health Centre. Patients access the facility either through the main reception area, or through a side door leading to the ambulance driveway. Within the UTF there are the supplies and equipment necessary to service three triage and urgent medical treatment beds.
• Last year 902 urgent care cases were treated in the Urgent Treatment Facility (UTF) thanks to the care and dedication of Drs. Bosman, Thorne, Mierzewski and the locums Drs. Secord and Henderson.
• 90% were treated on Gabriola and then able to return to their homes, being cared for on their island by Gabriolan doctors. Not having to make that trip to Nanaimo provided tremendous relief to the patients and their families, as well as reduced pressure on the Nanaimo health care system.
• 95 patients were transferred primarily to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH) after being stabilized here. According to a report done by Island Health last year, for Gabriola’s population the number of hospitalization and emergency room visits to NRGH are consistently less than expected based on the Provincial rates.
• With 285 or 30% of the patients treated in the UTF not currently being patients of the Clinic doctors, the UTF is fulfilling the promise to be available to all Gabriolans and visitors.
• 15% of the people arrived at the UTF by ambulance while the other 770 arrived by their own means looking for, and receiving, urgent medical treatment.
Continuing to find more and better ways to provide health services for Gabriolans the Gabriola Health Care Foundation has opened up the Facility for Island Health's Home and Community Care nurses who are now treating some of their patients in the UTF several days a week and Dr. Barnsley, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, treats patients during his bi-monthly visits.
This is the first in a series of reports to be published by the Gabriola Health Care Foundation to update Gabriolans on the facility, services and programs, and to help them better understand the current and potential long-term successes and challenges.