Langley Memorial Hospital (Black Press Media files)

Housing would cut number of B.C.’s vulnerable re-admitted to hospital: study

New SFU work shows just how costly frequent hospitalization is to the province’s health care system

Homeless people and those with mental illness who have to be re-admitted to hospital for recurring health problems are putting a heavy burden on B.C.’s health care system, a new study suggests.

According to researchers at Simon Fraser University, each patient of those descriptions being re-admitted to the hospital costs taxpayers an average of $60,000 year over year.

The study is based on data from 433 British Columbians who were homeless or suffering from a mental illness and were admitted to hospital spanning a five-year period.

Fifty-three per cent of patients were readmitted within one year of the initial visit.

Researcher Julian Somers said even with doctors following up, re-admittance is likely if the person is struggling to find basic necessities.

“Follow-up care after someone is discharged from the hospital only helps reduce re-hospitalization if the patient is housed or is working,” Somers said.

“If someone is homeless, no amount of medical care will compensate for the fact that they are homeless. Taxpayers can invest in support programs like consumption sites or street outreach nurses, but it won’t put a dent in reducing the number of re-hospitalization visits.”

The report suggests there is a need for housing to be included in discharge plans for vulnerable patients.

“Collaborative solutions spanning health, housing and social welfare sectors are strongly indicated to prevent re-hospitalization and to meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness and mental illness,” the report concludes.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New Langley mall owners have multi-use vision in mind

H&M opens in Willowbrook Thursday, offset some of the space left vacant by the departure of Sears.

Trinity Western University changes controversial covenant

Pledge forbidding sexual intimacy outside of marriage optional, but only for students

Legendary umpire retiring after 40 years

Aldergrove’s Gord Hanly caps an outstanding 40 year career

Spontaneous pencil shopping at WalMart leads Langley woman to art career

For the first time ever, Brooke deBruin will be displaying her art publicly at Arts Alive.

Beer garden incorporated into Langley’s 25th annual Arts Alive

More entertainment, more vendors, more food, and a new beverage station added to Saturday’s festival.

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

UPDATE: ‘Faint fuel odour,’ ‘sheen’ seen on Fraser River beach after tug carrying diesel sinks

Tugboat carrying up to 22,000 litres of diesel sinks in Fraser River Tuesday morning

Column: Mother orca’s display of grief sends powerful message

The grief of this orca mother may not be visible anymore, but we must not forget.

Seven people with ties to Red Scorpions gang arrested in B.C. drug bust

Delta police have secured 94 charges against seven people, including drug and firearm offences

Second measles scare this summer at YVR

An infected traveller flew out of Vancouver’s airport three times

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

PM Trudeau and federal ministers to meet on Vancouver Island

Cabinet retreat will be held in Nanaimo from Aug. 21-23

Most Read