Support sought for hospital expansion

The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District wants support in its push to build a new patient care tower.

The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District, which includes Summerland, wants the support of service clubs and other organizations throughout the region in its push to build a new patient care tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.

The regional district has made an application to the province, through the Interior Health Authority, “expressing great concern about the deteriorating state of the undersized Penticton Regional Hospital (PRH),” said Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino, who is also chairman of the regional hospital district and executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

Provincial funding of $160 million is sought. The regional district has committed $140 million and the medical foundation has committed $20 million for the $360 million project.

In a letter to area clubs and societies, she said the hospital consistently operates at 110 per cent of its capacity. It serves a population base of approximately 90,000 citizens.

PRH opened in 1951 to serve the acute health care needs of a population of 10,500.

“There have been many incredible technological changes in healthcare over the past 60 years along with the inclusion of the entire region’s population and the natural aging of the residents.”

Currently a number of the core PRH programs, including ambulatory medical day care and clinics, inpatient surgery, endoscopic and minor surgical procedures, central supply and outpatient diagnostics do not have the physical space to safely handle the patient volumes that arrive from the entire hospital district of the South Okanagan and Similkameen region.

Because of the lack of physical space in the ambulatory care area, numerous clinics have had to be wedged onto inpatient units scattered throughout the facility. Infection control and patient confidentiality are difficult to manage in this setting.

Interior Health has identified the patient care facility expansion for PRH as its highest priority for capital planning.

PRH requires a purpose-built patient care centre that includes all ambulatory services such as, medical day care, inpatient surgery, day surgery, endoscopies and minor surgical procedures. It also requires space for general clinics, including Wound Care, Cast Clinic, Paediatric Clinic, Primary Care Maternity Clinic, Pre-surgical Screening Clinic, Transplant Clinic, Colonoscopy and the UBC Medical School student space.

The expected benefits include innovative new medical technology, improved access and flow for patients and staff, increased safety and reduced risk and the more efficient use of operating costs and staff time.

“Finally, the human resource efficiencies in staff utilization will be realized with a consolidated facility.

“What an expansion will do for the entire region is bring in more medical staff over the years to work with the increased health care needs of the patients over the next 50 years,” says Perrino’s letter.

Boosters of the Penticton hospital expansion are willing to give 20-minute presentations about the project at club meetings.

Call 250-492-9027 or e-mail janice.perrino@interiorhealth.ca to arrange a presentation.

 

 

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