FILE – British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix responds to questions during a news conference regarding the novel coronavirus COVID-19, in Vancouver, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE – British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix responds to questions during a news conference regarding the novel coronavirus COVID-19, in Vancouver, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Floods, landslides have had ‘significant impact’ on B.C. health-care services, Dix says

Many patients have already had to be relocated this year due to wildfires

The floods and landslides that ravaged B.C. on Sunday and Monday have had a “significant impact” on health-care services in the affected regions, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday (Nov. 16).

Dix said that 150 patients and home-care residents have already been moved out of communities like Merritt and Princeton and that further relocations are expected.

He added that while 150 people may not seem like a lot, these are people who have already faced serious disruptions with the summer’s wildfires and COVID-19 related restrictions.

“In many cases, we’re talking about people who are extremely vulnerable,” Dix said, adding that patients from Merritt in particular have already needed to move previously this year due to the wildfires. The entire City of Merritt, along with Princeton, have been fully evacuated due to flooding.

According to the health ministry, the list of health-care facilities affected by the flooding is changing rapidly. Patients in four Merritt facilities – Nicola Valley Hospital. Gillis House long-term care, Nicole Meadows assisted living and Florentine assisted living/long-term care – were evacuated before midnight on Monday. In Princeton, both the hospital and a long-term care facility are having their patients evacuated.

By health authority, the status of affected facilities as of noon Tuesday are below:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health: Richmond Hospice, Texada Island Health Centre
  • Fraser Health: no acute care or long-term care sites affected
  • Northern Health: bus routes taking rural patients to treatment facilities are affected
  • Island Health: Saanich Peninsula Hospital, Westshore Urgent and Primary Care Centre, North Quadra Urgent and Primacy Care Centre have flooding; Bamfield Health Centre communications are down; Priory Long-Term Care, Duncan Community Health Services, Tofino General Hospital have power outages.

ALSO READ: Lower Mainland woman dead in Hwy. 99 landslide near Lillooet; search for others ongoing

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