Detox beds in B.C. routinely sit empty because of staff shortages

published on June 3, 2024 by Andrea Woo in Globe and Mail

Dozens of detox beds in British Columbia sit empty because of a shortage of addictions physicians and nurses needed to staff them, according to internal health authority data obtained by The Globe and Mail.

In the Vancouver region, this has meant that up to half of the spaces at 24- and 18-bed withdrawal-management facilities remain unoccupied at times despite long lists of people waiting, according to the data, which covers the past several weeks.

In the Interior, 25 detox beds are currently unoccupied for the same reason. The Globe was not provided with a total number of detox beds available and or occupied throughout the province.

B.C.’s shortage of addiction physicians and nurses is part of a broader crisis in the health work force that has played out across Canada for years…

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