MLA Katrine Conroy announced the funding at the regional hospital in Trail on Friday. (Photo from @Interior_Health)

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

More than $23 million is coming to the West Kootenay-Boundary for improvements at the regional hospital in Trail.

The money will be directed toward a new ambulatory care unit and an expanded pharmacy.

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

MLA Katrine Conroy made the announcement Friday afternoon at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH).

“Having been a frequent user of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital over the years, I know how much the ambulatory care and pharmacy area upgrades are needed,” said Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West.

“This new investment in our regional hospital, along with the current emergency department redevelopment that is now underway, is vital for better patient care in this region.”

The total project cost currently sits at $38.8 million, with the provincial government committing $23.3 million

With provincial funding secured, Interior Health has made a request to the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District (WKBRHD) for a $15.5-million contribution to the project.

The WKBRHD board will review this request at its next meeting on March 6.

The new ambulatory care wing will be built above the expanded emergency department, which is presently under construction.

Ambulatory care includes procedures for outpatients, such as endoscopies and cystoscopies, and other minor surgical procedures. No inpatient stays are required.

Improvements will be made to the existing ambulatory care space to accommodate outpatient examination rooms, booking offices and telehealth service.

The cast clinic will 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.

Those services will be enhanced with the inclusion of a patient education room for private consultations. The pharmacy area will be renovated to provide staff with an upgraded work environment, including better-ventilated spaces to prepare sterile hazardous and non-hazardous chemical products.

“Regional hospitals are critical for people in rural areas like the West Kootenay Boundary because they make sure people can get care close to home,” Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, said in a Feb. 15 statement.

“We realize the urgency of the needed improvements for ambulatory care and a new, bigger pharmacy at KBRH, which is why we approved the business plan within four months of receiving it. This is another example of the capital improvements we are making in communities through the Interior and around British Columbia.”

Construction is expected to start in 2020 and be complete in 2023.

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