Government is giving the green light for a new intensive care unit and upgraded electrical system at East Kootenay Regional Hospital.
“I recall in 2000, Maclean’s Magazine portrayed our hospital as the poster child for how bad rural health care was in Canada. Today, this new intensive care unit complements a new ambulatory care ward, new diagnostic imaging centre, new emergency room, new entrance and many new specialists,” said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett, on behalf of Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid.
The new intensive care unit will be in a new addition and replace the current four-bed unit at the hospital and have two new, high-acuity beds. The additional two beds will help relieve pressure on the intensive care unit and preserve resources for the most critically-ill patients while still providing a high level of care for those in need.
There also will be a significant electrical upgrade at the facility. The new electrical system will provide power to the entire hospital and optimize system performance. The electrical infrastructure will be located in the basement of the new addition.
“A new intensive care unit is the number one priority at our regional hospital in Cranbrook. Interior Health is thrilled to have this commitment from the provincial government and Kootenay East Regional Hospital District,” said Interior Health board chair Norman Embree.
The estimated total project cost is $20 million. The government of British Columbia will fund approximately $12 million and the East Kootenay Regional Hospital District will fund $8 million.
“Today we celebrate a monumental step in continuing to provide first-class health care to the residents of the East Kootenay. This has truly been a team effort between the hospital district board,
Interior Health and our MLA who all worked diligently to see this critical care component move forward,” said Kootenay East Regional Hospital District chair John Kettle. “I would like to extend a special thanks to MLA Bill Bennett for never letting up and always keeping this issue front and center for the benefit of everyone in the East Kootenay.”
A Request for Proposals for the design of the project, released today by Interior Health, is posted on the BC Bid website. It’s expected that construction will start in early 2014 and be complete in 2016.