Regional Health Services

Stuart Nechako Health Services
The Stuart Nechako Region is part of the Northern Health Region which takes care of over two thirds of the land mass of British Columbia. The Region provides services for 300,000, with the headquarters in Prince George. Six thousand people work for the Northern Health region, and the operating budget for 2004/05 was approximately $448 million.

Fraser Lake Diagnostic and Treatment Centre
The Treatment Centre is operated by the Fraser Lake and District Health Society.

This newly completed facility offers the services of:

3 doctor’s offices
X-ray facilities
Public Health Nurse’s office
Patients requiring standardized care are referred to the nearest hospital in Vanderhoof, 56 km east of Fraser Lake. For more serious conditions and acute care, patients are directed to Prince George Regional Hospital. Emergency service is available by air to Prince George.

Stuart Lake Hospital
The hospital, located in Fort St James, was established in 1972. This acute care facility serves the residents of Fort St. James and surrounding areas.

The hospital provides:

  • 7 medical beds, 2 surgical beds, 3 pediatric beds, 3 maternity beds and 4 newborn basinettes.
  • Inpatient services include medicine, surgery, obstetrics and pediatrics.
  • Outpatient services include laboratory, x-ray and dietary services.

St John Hospital

The hospital, located in Vanderhoof, has been in existence since 1941. The hospital is part of the Stuart Nechako Regional Hospital District serving the region. Today St John Hospital is a modern 24 acute care bed and eight bassinet facility, with an additional 50 complex care beds in the newly completed Multi-Care Facility.

A major redesign and construction of post-operative recovery room and services is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2005. The Omineca Medical Clinic, located across the road from the hospital, operates five days a week and is staffed by 10 physicians.

The St John’s Hospital services include:

  • Emergency treatment
  • Labor and delivery
  • X-ray and ultrasound
  • Minor orthopedic surgery
  • Minor general surgeries
  • In-patient recreation and physiotherapy

St John Hospital is a teaching facility for the University of British Columbia. Visiting specialists are referred for orthopedics, urology, ororhino-laryngology (ENT). Services that are operated on an outpatient basis from the St. John Hospital include:

  • Diabetic counseling and daycare
  • Occupational therapy
  • Smoking cessation program
  • Dietetic services and counseling
  • Healthy heart program

*Mental Health Unit *
The Mental Health Unit serves the communities of Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James and Burns Lake, providing on-site counseling and outreach services for adults with crisis and persistent mental disorders. A visiting psychiatrist and geriatric psychiatrist provide delivery for 4-5 days once every four months.

Other Services
Vanderhoof has three dental clinics, a private physiotherapy clinic, a local search and rescue group, as well as 20 other health related support groups, volunteer associations and service providers. Fort St James and Fraser Lake have one dental service each.

Northern Health Connections
Northern Health Connections is a travel service program for patients needing to travel for out-of-town medical appointments in northern BC and between northern BC and Vancouver.

NH Connections is operated under contract to Northern Health by Diversified Transportation Ltd. (DTL) of British Columbia. DTL is a division of Pacific Western Transportation.

The program provides patients with new transportation options to reduce one of the costs associated with visiting specialists, obtaining specialized diagnostic testing, and receiving other health care services not available in the patient’s home community.

We know there are many people in smaller communities who need to travel for specialized medical services offered in larger centres. Northern Health Connections will offer patients the support they need to get the services they require.

To find out more information visit the Northern Health Connections page on the Northern Health Authority website.

Northern Health Authority
The Northern Health Authority is responsible for the delivery of health care across Northern British Columbia, including acute care, mental health, public health, addictions, and home and community care services.

*Geography *
NHA covers almost two-thirds of British Columbia’s landscape, bordered by the Northwest and Yukon Territories to the north, the BC interior to the south, Alberta to the east, and Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the west. For a more detailed view of the region, download the NHA Regional Map (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required).

NHA is divided into three operational areas called Health Service Delivery Areas (HSDAs): the Northeast, the Northern Interior, and the Northwest. This structure helps to provide a greater degree of local operation and decision-making for health facilities across Northern British Columbia

About 300,000 people live in Northern BC. By 2010, the population is expected to grow to just over 348,000. The North has the highest projected growth rate of seniors in BC, with a 48 per cent projected increase by 2010. 13 per cent of the population is Aboriginal, the highest proportion in the province.

NHA is governed by a nine-member board, made up of individuals from throughout the North.

Operating Budget
NHA’s annual operating budget for the 2005/2006 fiscal year is $482 Million. Of that total:

  • Acute care services are budgeted at $170.2 million.
  • Home and community care services are budgeted at: $68.9 million.
  • Community programs (including public health) are budgeted at $69.9 million.
  • Administration costs equal 6.3 per cent of budget, below the BC average of eight per cent.

Medical Staff and Employees
Seven thousand people work for NHA. They hold about 4,000 full-time equivalent positions.

Within NHA, there are over two dozen acute care facilities, 14 long term care facilities, public health units, and offices providing specialized services.

Service Delivery

In the 2004/2005 operating year:

  • Physicians across NHA performed over 24,000 surgeries.
  • NHA welcomed the arrival of almost 3,000 babies across the region.
  • Facilities across NHA provided 544 acute care bed spaces, and more than 64,000 (in-patient) overnight stays were recorded.
  • NHA facilities scheduled over 110,000 outpatient visits (including specialty clinics and rehabilitation).
  • NHA emergency departments received almost 255,000 visits.
  • Home support workers provided almost 375,000 hours of assistance to clients.
  • Home care nurses provided over 60,000 hours of care to individuals at home.
  • Care facilities across the region provided 900 residential care bed spaces.

Source: Northern Heath Quick Facts
For more information visit the Northern Health Authority website.

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