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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An analysis of problems encountered in the preparation of a regional health and hospital study in British Columbia Morton, Wendy Lynn


In 1982/83, the author, in the role of consultant to the firm of Thompson Berwick Pratt and Partners, Architects and Planners, Vancouver, conducted a regional health needs study In the interior of British Columbia for the Board of the Thompson-Nicola Regional Hospital District (TNRHD). The completed report entitled, The Thompson-Nicola Regional Hospital District Health and Hospital Study has subsequently been tabled as a public document. This planning thesis is concerned with the processes of conducting the study which was more complex than originally envisaged. The narrative describes the planning model developed by the consultants to fit the terms of reference which were, in brief, to assess existing local health service needs and the supply and distribution of health resources in the region, and to project future requirements through 1991. In attempting to develop the model it was realized that the Thompson-Nicola Regional Hospital Board had limited powers to initiate a study for all health and hospital providers in the region. The Board's planning mandate was limited by statute, and this limitation is explored. Co-operation among local providers was achieved through persuasion. The Ministry of Health (MOH) had funded 60 per cent of the project, thereby indicating to local groups that it supported the Board's planning approach. The Ministry of Health's concern for rational planning has already been expressed in other ways (e.g. The British Columbia Hospital Role and Funding Studies) although planning is still ad hoc rather than part of a clear Ministry policy. The lack of integration among providers made it difficult to determine need and demand for health services in the region. There were specific problems of definition of need, and specific and recurrent problems of data collection and analysis because of the large number of independent data resource groups involved. Problems in selecting and applying models of analysis were also experienced. Nevertheless, a model of health services needs and resource requirements was constructed.

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