Interior Health provides local update

Anxiety/depression, diabetes higher in 100 Mile House

Patients receiving health services in the District of 100 Mile House show a higher than average rate of depression/anxiety and diabetes.

This was highlighted when Interior Health (IH) acute services director Peter du Toit made a presentation about program funding and service deliveries in the community at an April 14 District council meeting.

He said supporting people at risk is a key element in IH strategies, including boosting its ability to identify which chronic diseases need more support.

“[It’s about] how do we get people to look after themselves, and how do we support that and support the volumes that do get into care.”

According to his summary, 2012/13 IH health care studies of chronic disease rates show 31 per cent of 100 Mile House area patients suffer anxiety/depression, compared to averages of 27 per cent within Interior Health and 25 per cent across the province.

Instances of diabetes are also somewhat higher locally, although less significantly, at 10 per cent compared to province-wide and IH averages of eight per cent each.

However, local cases of dementia (over age 45) are slightly lower at two per cent, compared to those in IH (four per cent) and British Columbia (three per cent).

Chronic obstructive pulmonary (lung) disease rates are at nine per cent in the area, the same as IH, but higher then the B.C. average of six per cent.

South Cariboo rates were similar or on par with the others for heart failure (three, three and two per cent respectively) and asthma (all at 11 per cent).

Local program access

du Toit noted IH’s current local programs Breathe Right (via Williams Lake), Mental Health and Substance Use Primary Care (only in Williams Lake), and Surveillance Nurses (remote telephone checks for Home Health clients) are now running successfully.

He said the community has an “amazingly strong advocate” in Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett for Breathe Right, which has 31 patients in the South and Central Cariboo.

“The program is showing to be very successful as a pilot.”

Four nurse practitioners assist and improve access for some area First Nations and patients at Cariboo Memorial Hospital, who can diagnose, prescribe and order tests without a doctor’s authorization, du Toit explained.

He added the High Acuity Response Team (HART) program, where health-care providers take over in certain ambulance transports to allow local staff to remain in hospitals, is also running effectively.

The Ministry of Health’s strategies are geared toward staying healthy, getting better, living with illness or disability, and coping with end-of-life, du Toit said.

According to his report, the ministry’s priorities are:

Provide patient-centred care;

Prevention and health promotion;

Primary and community care;

Improve access to specialist services;

Access to quality diagnostic services;

Access to clinical and cost-effective pharmaceuticals;

Review and improve acute-care services; and

Appropriate residential care.


100 Mile House Free Press