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The long good-bye: the great transformation of the British Columbia hospital system

The long good-bye: the great transformation of the British Columbia hospital system

Health services researchHealth Serv.Res., Volume 24, Issue 4, UNITED STATES, p.435 - 459 (1989)
Journal Article
Abstract

Much is made of the "threat" an aging population poses to North American health care systems. In this article, we present hospital utilization data from British Columbia over the period 1969-1985, which reinforce our earlier (Barer, Evans, Hertzman, et al. 1987) conclusion: it is not aging per se that poses the threat; rather, it is what we are choosing (through our health care system) to do to and with our elderly. In 1969, British Columbia hospital patients over 65 years of age and staying longer than 60 days accounted for 12.5 percent of all days; by 1985/86, they were accounting for 39 percent. Furthermore, in 1985/86, 1 patient in 200 was using one-quarter of all patient days and dying at the end of the process, and 2 patients in 100 (who stayed over 60 days whether discharged alive or dead) were accounting for almost one-half of all days.

Keywords