Welcome to Island Health

On August 1 st, we launched our new public website:


and a new website for medical staff:


Our website was developed in partnership with patients and residents of Vancouver Island and the surrounding regions. It's accessible, mobile friendly and flexible to help us evolve with our communities as we work towards excellent health and care for everyone, everywhere, every time.

Come visit the new sites and update your bookmarks. This www.viha.ca site will continue to be available for one month so that our staff and partners have time to update their links to the new site. You can still browse the old site but it will no longer be updated.


Bariatric Program

Island Health's bariatric program ensures every patient who is considering bariatric surgery with Island Health receives the care, education and support to be successful with long term weight loss after surgery.

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is commonly referred to as weight-loss surgery. It is a treatment for obesity.  Patients need to meet a certain criteria to be approved for surgery.  Not everyone who is seen by the program will go on to have surgery and some people decide the process is not for them.

What types of surgery does the program provide?

Our program provides two types of surgery:  the sleeve gastrectomy and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Both surgeries are covered by MSP.

All patients considering surgery receive a bariatric orientation session that describes the types of surgery and provides information on expected weight loss and other aspects of the surgeries.

About our clinic

The bariatric program runs a medical clinic located in Memorial Pavilion at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, BC staffed by:

  • A medical internist with a specialty in obesity medicine
  • A nurse coordinator
  • Social worker
  • A dietitian, and
  • An administrative assistant

The program is supported by a multi-disciplinary team that includes a range of other medical professionals including respirology, endocrinology and cardiology.

Three surgeons specialize in bariatric surgery at Royal Jubilee Hospital. It is one of only two sites in BC that perform the surgery (the other one is Richmond Hospital).


A medical doctor or nurse practitioner must print and complete our Referral Form (.pdf) then fax it to our clinic at (250)370-8661.

All patients are required to participate in group and individual sessions before and after surgery.


Full eligibility criteria is outlined on the referral form.

Individuals who are keeping a food record, engaging in regular exercise, and working on their emotional eating issues (with counseling or through attendance at a group behaviour change program) on entering the bariatric program will be given preference in the process.

Because the wait time from referral to first clinic contact is currently greater than 24 months, it is strongly recommended that prospective participants be referred to a local dietitian and be encouraged to engage in the aforementioned activities during this time.

This surgery is NOT for individuals:

  • Unable to participate in prolonged medical follow-up
  • Suffering from non-stabilized psychotic disorders, severe depression, personality and eating disorders, unless specifically advised by a psychiatrist experienced in obesity
  • Suffering from alcohol abuse and/or drug dependencies
  • Living with diseases threatening life in the short term
  • Unable to care for themselves and have no long-term family or social support that will provide such care
  • Who are longstanding steroid users with continued use 
  • Greater than 65 years of age