B.C. announces children's complex care transition facility in Vancouver

VICTORIA — Children in British Columbia with extraordinary health needs that require complex care are to receive support at a single site set to open in Vancouver.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday the current Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children will become the only such site in Canada to help patients up to age 19 access health services.

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It will also include training for parents and caregivers providing care at home, as well as support for siblings.

Sunny Hill is scheduled to relocate to the main campus of the BC Children's and Women's Hospitals at the end of August as the third and final phase of its redevelopment.

Dix said a business plan to finalize the project's scope and budget is expected to take between 12 and 18 months.

"It means that the future of this site is assured into the future, that this site will be dedicated as it has been since 1931 for the care for children," he told a news conference.

Dix said the centre in Vancouver will be the first facility in Canada providing a comprehensive range of supports at a single location for children with complex medical needs.

He said such care is often challenging for families and caregivers to provide from home, and the transition centre will serve as a stepping stone between acute hospital care, community care and homes.

Data from the Ministry of Health show 7,779 children with complex medical and physical needs accessed services at BC Children's Hospital in 2017 and 2018.

The ministry estimated nearly 9,100 children would need help for complex needs by 2035.

Complex medical needs include those causing significant functional limitation, very high utilization of health care and major social and financial impacts as identified by caregivers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2020.

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