Mills Memorial has increased their bed count of 50 in preparation for an increased demand for services because of the COVID-19 outbreak. (Shutterstock Photo)

Terrace health services prepare for increased demand as more COVID-19 cases predicted

Elective, non-urgent surgeries cancelled

Mills Memorial Hospital has been thinning out its occupancy rate in preparation for an increased demand for services because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The move follows last week’s decision by the provincial health ministry to cancel all elective and non-urgent surgeries across the province.

As of March 20, provincial health minister Adrian Dix reported that approximately 2,400 acute care beds and approximately 200 critical care beds had been freed up, a number that is expected to fluctuate provincially, regionally and locally depending upon demand and circumstances.

Mills Memorial has a bed count of 50, up from 44 beds approximately 18 months ago by adding one bed so there are four in its intensive care ward and adding five beds on its medical/surgical ward for a total of 30 beds.

It also added the equivalent of 4.5 full-time registered nurses to handle the increased bed count.

The additional intensive care ward bed was added in the 2018-2019 fiscal year and the five additional medical/surgical beds were added in the current fiscal year which ends the end of March.

The 10-bed regional psychiatric unit and six beds in maternity/gynecology make for 50 beds at Mills.

Within the Northern Health Authority area, there are 571 acute care beds.

But health authorities in the past have stressed that capacity will be adjusted to meet demand, a standard feature of planning that goes into the event of unforeseen circumstances.

READ MORE: Terrace mayor promotes possible affordable housing tie-in to new Memorial Mills hospital

At Mills, for instance, the TV lounge area opposite the nursing station on the second floor medical/surgical ward has been pressed into service on occasion and beds in the day surgery recovery room are also available as needed.

As of last week, the number of ventilators within the Northern Health Authority area stood at 116 but how they are allocated within specific health care facilities isn’t known.

The subject of ventilators used to assist critically-ill patients with breathing has been a consistent subject of questions put to health care officials.

Across B.C., as of late last week, provincial health minister Adrian Dix said there were 956 of various types, including ones used when transporting people.

More ventilators are on order, Dix continued, and numbers will be announced as they arrive.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coast Mountain College sets up student emergency fund

It’ll provide grocery store gift cards for students affected by COVID-19 crisis

Northern Health moves reefer unit to Mills Memorial

The move is not related to COVID-19

Kitimat residents find unique ways to celebrate birthdays while practicing social distancing

The Northern Sentinel spoke with a number of parents whose children had birthdays recently

RDKS developing strategy to bring higher internet speeds to remote areas

Results of public survey will help ISPs build business case for funding

‘We don’t need this right now’: B.C. man breaks up road rage incident

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road in Saanich on Vancouver Island

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Migrant worker advocates blame feds, employers for COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. garden store

Migrant farm worker group calls on government for adequate health and safety requirements

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Most Read