Premier commits to hospital upgrade

Premier Christy Clark said the province has “notionally” found the money needed for a proposed tower for the Penticton Regional Hospital.

Premier Christy Clark said the province has “notionally” found the money needed to build a proposed $300-million hospital tower for the Penticton Regional Hospital.

On March 20, Clark was in Penticton to make the announcement. She said the Treasury Board has approved the money to develop a business case for the ambulatory care tower.

The study is expected to take a year to complete and will include cost estimates for the project.

“We know the money is there. We know there is room in the budget,” she said.

At present, the hospital district has set aside $1.2 million to complete the business case.

While Janice Perrino, chair of the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District is pleased with the announcement, she said there is still uncertainty about the project.

A provincial election is expected in May and if the provincial Liberals are not re-elected, it is not known whether the next government would continue the commitment to the expansion.

New Democratic Party leader Adrian Dix was in Penticton on Saturday and hospital officials asked him to commit to the expansion as well.

Mike Farnworth, health critic for the New Democrats, has said that if his party is elected, they will continue commitments which have been made with money attached.

Perrino said the expansion should be based on the need in the region, not on the outcome of the provincial election.

“The process should be straightforward,” she said. “We have a very, very old hospital that is so out of date.”

The Penticton Regional Hospital was built in 1951 to serve a population of 10,000.

At the time, other communities, including Summerland, also had their own hospitals.

Over the years, the region’s population has grown considerably. Changes to health care have also resulted in the loss of hospitals in Summerland and other communities.

As a result, the Penticton Regional Hospital now serves a population of around 90,000.

“I don’t understand why any government doesn’t do what the regions need first,” Perrino said.


Just Posted

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Art and music at Summerland Ornamental Gardens

Second event of the summer will be held Sunday, Aug. 25

New Penticton/Kelowna transit route ready to roll out

Route 70 Penticton/Kelowna will provide a direct trip to Kelowna from Penticton and Summerland

South Okanagan powwow strikes a chord on the human level for federal minister

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan was the special guest at powwow

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

Okanagan RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Vernon Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Most Read