Vancouver – People who have been sexually assaulted will be able to access forensic services on the UBC Campus when specially trained staff from BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, with partners from Vancouver General Hospital and Providence Health Care, expand their services to include the UBC Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre in September 2016.
Sexual assault medical care and emotional support services are already available at the UBC Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre, through the UBC Student Health Service, UBC Counselling Services, and at the Sexual Assault Support Centre at UBC operated by the student society; however, the additional support by the BC Women’s Sexual Assault Services team will also enable forensic examinations.
The BC Women’s sexual assault services team – comprised of specially trained nurses, nurse examiners, doctors and counsellors – provides free, confidential, comprehensive and sensitive medical care as well as emotional support to anyone, 13 years or older, who has been sexually assaulted within the previous seven days. Services include assessment and treatment of injuries, sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy prevention, as well as forensic sample collection and documentation for those patients who want to involve police. The team can also provide referrals to health, legal and community-based support services. Services are provided to anyone - male, female, transgendered - from any province or country.
Since 1994, the BC Women’s Hospital Sexual Assault Service has offered medical care, forensic evaluation (upon patient request) and services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Vancouver General Hospital emergency department.
Vancouver Coastal Health with the support of BC Women’s, developed a regional policy on the care of sexual assault victims which was endorsed in January 2016. As a result of this new policy, all emergency departments and urgent care centres in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will have access to medical care based on clear guidelines and training for care of patients. Patients can be treated at any site for the majority of their care needs, be it physical or psychosocial; however if they choose to undergo a forensic exam, a specially trained team is required to attend.
BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre is the province’s only facility dedicated to the health of women, newborns and families. It is one of the country’s busiest maternity centres, delivering more than 7,000 babies annually, and serves as the provincial resource for high-risk maternity care, as well as the most highly-specialized centre for the largest neonatal intensive care unit in BC. More than 50,000 women are seen annually through its specialized women and family programs, which include world-class services in sexual assault care, medical genetics, HIV care, reproductive and sexual health, maternal substance dependency, osteoporosis and complex chronic diseases.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca.
Vancouver Coastal Health is responsible for the delivery of $3.4 billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.
Provincial Health Services Authority
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