Fair Share Health Care is still calling for change.

It wants the overcrowding issue at North Island Hospital to come to an end.

The group provided an occupancy data update to the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District Board and municipal officials yesterday.

“There’s a lot of things that need to be analyzed to truly get at what is going on that’s beyond our scope and ability,” says Fair Share organizer Peggy Stirrett. “But, we’d like to think that the people responsible for making these decisions on our behalf do that kind of analysis and have a plan.”

Both the Campbell River and Comox Valley campuses are seeing significantly higher occupancy rates for the five 28-day fiscal periods that ended Feb. 6th compared to the same fiscal periods last year.

In short, the overcrowding situation has worsened.

Stirrett says Fair Share was formed after its current members came across this issue and began asking Island Health for its data.

“Although Island Health does a great job of reporting their performance targets online at an Island Health level, they don’t really release that to the public at a hospital by hospital level. That was what we felt we could do to contribute to the community and raise awareness.”

The highest average occupancy rate for a 28-day period was 126 per cent for Comox Valley, from Oct. 18th until Nov. 14th of last year.

Campbell River saw a 122 per cent occupancy rate from Jan. 10th until Feb. 6th of this year.

The year over year increase in occupancy rate is explained by the variance in Acute Care patients for both campuses.

Meanwhile, the level of Alternate Care patients, mostly patients waiting in hospital for a care bed to become available, remains high and can be expected to increase.

Occupancy rates for the third year of operations could well exceed 120 per cent at both campuses if the trend observed since the hospital campuses opened continues.

“The solutions really are probably larger than a just hospital solution. It is very concerning that we just invested in two new hospital campuses and they’ve been operating consistently at over capacity rates since they opened,” Stirrett adds.

Currently, Island Health’s occupancy rate target is 95 per cent.

The average rate for all other Island Health hospitals was 103 per cent for the last fiscal year ending Mar. 31st, 2019.