The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and the report was tabled Nov. 18 in the legislature by Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost.

“In the past year, we have continued to operate in an environment with unlimited need and many resource constraints,” reads a message signed by both Board Chair Brian Gillen and CEO Jason Bilsky.

“As we moved into 2020, we faced a new challenge from the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced us to scale back services for a period of time, so we could plan, prepare and build more resilient hospital operations to carry us through an indefinite period,” it continues.

The report shows the Watson Lake community hospital had 112 admissions and 2,627 emergency visits this year. The Dawson community hospital had 80 admissions and 2,812 emergency visits.

Whitehorse General Hospital had 3,703 admissions and 35,418 visits to emergency. Visits to the emergency department increased by nearly nine per cent last year, according to the report.

“With COVID-19, many non-urgent services were suspended, leading to a dramatic decrease in the first few months of our current year. During this time, there was also a significant decrease in the number of admitted patients and emergency room visits. A fuller picture of the impact of the pandemic on hospital operations will be seen next year in our reporting for 2020–2021,” reads the report.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

Yukon health and social services

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