Parking and access to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital has been re-configured for construction. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Board green-lights $15 million for Kootenay Boundary hospital

Second phase construction is expected to begin after KBRH’s emergency unit upgrades are complete

Improvements nearing $40 million are officially on the slate for Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH), though the date-of-delivery is still years away.

“All I can say at this time, is that I believe the plan is to move from Phase 1 immediately to Phase 2,” Trail Mayor Lisa Pasin said, referring to the $19-million job currently underway in KBRH’s emergency department.

“Interior Health is going to come back with a detailed description of Phase 2 and how this seams together with Phase 1,” she explained. “This will most likely occur at the June (board) meeting.”

Read more: Province announces $23 million for KBRH upgrades

Read more: $19-million KBRH reno ready to break ground

Last week the regional hospital board agreed to fund the district’s $15-million share for Phase 2 of the KBRH sustainability plan, which involves expanding square-footage for the pharmacy and ambulatory care wing.

The vote-in-favour by 30 West Kootenay-Boundary directors followed a $23-million provincial commitment to the project, which Minister Katrine Conroy announced in the KBRH lobby last month.

“General consensus of the board was positive,” Pasin told the Trail Times. “The board had prioritized the KBRH expansion and are pleased to see the commitment from the Province and IHA (Interior Health Authority) to complete the project.”

Although the board approved $15-million specifically for this second leg of work, Pasin says the allocation itself is not in the 2019 budget as substantial payment is not expected in this fiscal year.

“No decisions were made on how the total payment will be made as far as the portion taken from reserves and the portion allocated to long term borrowing,” she explained.

“The project is not expected to start in the current year, so the decision could be delayed until a timeline for Phase 2 was provided. That said, if any payment for Phase 2 work is required in this fiscal year, the funding will be taken from reserves by way of a new motion brought forward to staff from the board.”

There are, however, a number of projects the board has funded in facilities across the West Kootenay-Boundary district for 2019. Those upgrades will, in part, be covered by a three per cent budget increase.

With a bottom line totalling $948,000, district taxpayers are on the hook for 40 per cent, or $379,200.

Those include $84,000 for a HD (High Definition) monitoring system in the KBRH operating department; approximately $50,000 for a new colonoscope, ventilator and cautery machine at Kootenay Lake Hospital; $28,000 for food service steamers at Boundary Hospital and Nelson Jubilee Manor; $10,000 for an ECG analyzer at Slocan Community Health Centre; and $10,000 for a new exam chair at Salmo Wellness Centre.

Between now and 2023, construction plans for KBRH include the build of a new ambulatory care wing above the emergency department.

Improvements will be made to the existing ambulatory unit to accommodate out-patient examination rooms, booking offices and telehealth service.

The cast clinic will also be upgraded, and the medical records office will be relocated to the basement. This will allow for an expanded oncology unit and relocated physiotherapy department.

As far as the pharmacy, the plan is to triple it in size and expand services with the inclusion of a patient education room for private consultations.

“The (regional) board committed to endorse these projects as a priority and as a result, approval by the Ministry of Health was granted,” Pasin said.

“The City of Trail is thrilled with this investment into KBRH, which stabilizes the acute care hospital system and will improve service delivery for residents across the Kootenay Boundary.”



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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