Kelowna General Hospital busiest in the province, higher than Interior Health average

Click to play video: 'Kelowna General Hospital operating at over capacity'
Kelowna General Hospital operating at over capacity
WATCH: Busy hospitals in the Interior Health region are shining a light on just how over-capacity they are becoming. As Victoria Femia reports one Okanagan hospital is currently the busiest in the province. – Jan 13, 2023

Most hospitals in Interior Health are over capacity, including one Okanagan hospital that is the busiest in B.C.

“The occupancy around midnight each day for all of Interior Health has been 117 per cent above capacity, and that’s consistent with Kelowna General Hospital. Actually, Kelowna has been higher than the IH average,” said Interior Health interim communications director, Karl Hardt.

According to the Ministry of Health, Kelowna, B.C.’s general hospital is the busiest hospital in the province and is operating over capacity.

Recent numbers from the ministry revealed KGH has about 556 patients with a 526-bed supply. Second is the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops with 328 patients and only 295 beds.

Story continues below advertisement

“Kelowna General and Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops are consistently busy hospitals in the Interior so it’s not completely unexpected that we’re seeing those pressures right now,” said Hardt.

In a press conference Friday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said as of midnight a total of 10,116 people were in hospitals across B.C., with capacity already peaking.

“This represents about 87 per cent occupancy rate of the total base and surge beds, but also 110 per cent of base bed capacity in the province. This is obviously the week when we see our highest census,” said Dix.

While KGH is at overcapacity, Interior Health says it’s likely it will impact patient wait times.

“It is really busy right now and that can mean people are waiting longer, especially patients who may not have the most emergency needs,” said Hardt.

Click to play video: 'KGH emergency room doctor paints concerning picture involving staffing levels and capacity issues'
KGH emergency room doctor paints concerning picture involving staffing levels and capacity issues

“We know that’s frustrating and challenging so we urge everyone to be patient with our physicians and staff as we work to get everyone through.”

Story continues below advertisement

For Kelowna hospital staff, it’s yet another challenge they are working through.

“It has been a challenging few years for staff and certainly these occupancy pressures are another challenge,” said Hardt.

“(Staff) have been extraordinary in responding to every challenge that’s come their way and we really want to acknowledge their efforts they’ve been heroic.”

Sponsored content