Accessing medical care on Haida Gwaii during the pandemic

While we are encouraging everybody to stay at home and minimize contact with others to avoid the spread of COVID-19, your North and South End hospitals remain open and accessible 24/7 to all who need medical attention. We have taken all the precautions to keep you, our hospital patients and the staff safe when medical care is needed. We are also providing regular virtual appointments (by telephone and, very soon, by video) to continue caring for you in a timely way.

If you need medical care during the pandemic, please follow these steps:

CALL FIRST

SOUTH END of Haida Gwaii residents = 1-250-559-4900

NORTH END of Haida Gwaii residents = 1-250-626-4702

If you need an ambulance, call 1-800-461-9911

If you need to be seen in person (such as for certain medical appointments, emergencies, urgent blood tests or Xrays), you will be directed to come to the hospital at a given time.

When you arrive to the hospital, here is what you can expect:

SOUTH END ( Xaayda Gwaay Ngaaysdll Naay – Haida Gwaii Hospital & Health Centre)

NORTH END (Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital)

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us! We will figure out the best and safest way to care for you.

COVID-19: An Urgent Message From Haida Gwaii Physicians

[NB: this post was written jointly by all Haida Gwaii Physicians, to share their urgent concerns for the well-being of the people of Haida Gwaii]

As the COVID-19 virus draws closer to our islands, there are some important ways we can work together to reduce the impact on our communities.

If we let the virus spread the way it has in other places, we would expect well over 400 people here to be sick enough to need to be in hospital. We only have 12 acute care beds between the two hospitals, and most of these are already full. Over 20 people could become sick enough to need a ventilator (breathing machine), and we have only two of these on the islands. Also keep in mind that, as our health care resources get diverted to deal with those that get very sick, we will struggle to keep up with the usual health care emergencies (heart attacks, accidents, etc.). This pandemic has consequences for everybody’s health.

However, if we ALL work together, the numbers of people who may get seriously ill will be much less and will be spread out over a longer time. We will then be more able to help those who need it most.

HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP US HELP YOU

This virus spreads wherever people come together, so the most important thing you can do is STAY AT HOME and limit visitors. If you must leave your home for work or essentials, keep your distance from others, ideally beyond 2 meters (6 feet). Wash your hands often and try not to touch your face (and wash your hands or use sanitizer after you do!). Please encourage friends and family to do the same.

1. If you develop a fever, cold symptoms or a cough, use the ONLINE SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL or call the NH COVID-19 Hotline = 1-844-645-7811 to help you decide if you need medical attention.

2. If you need to see a doctor, CALL FIRST, so we can prepare for your visit and not keep you waiting where the virus can be spread to others.

SOUTH END of Haida Gwaii residents = 1-250-559-4900

NORTH END of Haida Gwaii residents = 1-250-626-4702

3. Stay calm and be kind, but do not minimize the seriousness of the situation. Encourage each other (and our elected politicians!) to do the right thing in a timely fashion, and support each other through this crisis – only together can we make a difference and save lives! 

We want you to know that all the health care staff of Haida Gwaii are here for you and continue to prepare the best they can for the challenges that lie ahead. We are working hard to adapt to this evolving situation, to get through this in the best way possible. We care deeply for you all and want the best for you and your families.

Locum Opportunities for Physicians

Haida Gwaii offers year-round opportunities for short term locum contracts in both the north end and south end of Graham Island. Haida Gwaii’s unique natural beauty and welcoming communities make it a favourite destination for both work and recreation.
Due to Haida Gwaii’s remoteness, our communities are designated as « category A » and are therefore eligible for the highest level of remuneration through the Rural GP Locum Program. Follow this link for details.

If you are a physician looking for locum work on Haida Gwaii, please contact Locums for Rural BC. You can also ask to speak with our practice support coaches via the health centres in Daajing Giids Queen Charlotte or Masset. They will guide you through the application process.

If your plans are to work in Daajing Giids Queen Charlotte, please take our South End tour for practical information on how to make the most of your experience.

Photo credit: Jags Brown

 

Educating the Next Generation

For over 30 years, the Haida Gwaii medical community has been affiliated with the University of British Columbia as a training site for Medical and Nursing students, Family Medicine residents and, more recently, Nurse Practitioner, Midwifery and Social Work students.

Providing health care cannot be learned simply from books. Interacting with patients and medical staff in a clinical environment is key to developing essential professional skills. While students will not see patients autonomously, the Family Medicine residents are in their final year of training prior to independent practice, and thus are quite senior in their education. As such, they do see patients in the clinic and the hospital independently, with daily oversight by their assigned physician preceptor. It is expected that some patients may prefer to see only their regular provider and not interact with learners. If this is your preference, simply let us know when you book your appointment. We do not take your participation for granted – respecting your wishes is our priority.

The entire Haida Gwaii medical community would like to express immense gratitude to patients and staff who choose to be involved in the education of the next generation of healthcare providers. Most local family doctors were once medical learners on Haida Gwaii, so patient and staff participation are key to the recruitment and retention of health care providers. Haawa to our teachers, patients and communities for instilling a love of rural medicine and Haida Gwaii!

Photo credit: Jags Brown

Welcome to Haida Gwaii Health

Our mission is to provide an overview of the health services and facilities serving Haida Gwaii, to help you quickly find what you need. 

Visit our Hospitals page for information concerning in-patient and emergency services.

Our Clinics page will provide you with contact information for our local health centres, and our Services page will quickly get you up to speed with local offerings.

If you have an emergency and need an ambulance, call 1-800-461-9911. You can also visit our Emergency page for additional important information.

Haawa Haawa Haawa

We would like to thank Jags Brown, Mary Helmer, Carey Bergman and Jason Shafto for their generosity in offering their beautiful photographs to create our website. We also gratefully recognize the Facility Engagement Initiative for providing the funding needed to realize this project, and InnoNative for their help envisioning and creating this website. And a big haawa and thank you to all who cheered us along the way!

Photo credit: Jags Brow