Funding approved for regional hospital project in Cranbrook

The East Kootenay Regional Hospital, located in Cranbrook, will undergo a Redevelopment and Electrical Upgrade to their Intensive Care Unit.

The East Kootenay Regional Hospital District is going to see a long awaited project enter its early stages.

The East Kootenay Regional Hospital, located in Cranbrook, will undergo a Redevelopment and Electrical Upgrade to their Intensive Care Unit.

“One request we had made from Interior Health was for general funding for the redevelopment project for the Intensive Care Unit at the the Cranbrook Hospital. That’s a $20 million project. It has been approved,” said Coun. Chris Hambruch, a director with the hospital district.

The project will be funded 60 per cent ($12 million) by the province, with the remaining 40 per cent ($12 million) coming from the Regional Hospital District. The district will draw $3.5 million from their reserves, and will borrow to cover the rest of their portion.

It is a three-year project, expected to take 36 to 40 months to complete, and should be underway sometime this year.

The project has three major components: the construction of a new Intensive Care Unit (ICU) department with required support spaces and equipment (including the structural capacity to add a second floor in the future); the completion of a significant electrical upgrade to meet current code requirements; and the completion of renovations in the existing hospital, including upgrades to the existing public access corridor, and a new common entrance for the ICU.

Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett made the announcement in the lobby of the hospital on April 5.

“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,” he said.

He also thanked the hospital foundation, Interior Health, the volunteers, and the medical staff for their dedication and hard work.

The project is necessary to ensuring that the quality of care is maintained, and can be provided safely for all the residents in the East Kootenays who utilize the services provided at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.