The Kootenay East Regional Hospital Disctrict held its board of directors meeting earlier this month, and some developments could have an effect on locals going forward.
For starters, East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook is set to undergo an approximately $22 million overhaul to its ICU in order to improve patient care.
“I understand it is very old and very out dated,” said Coun. Chris Hambruch, who represented council at the meeting. “From a service perspective, for anybody that needs the Cranbrook hospital and the ICU, and there are certainly patients from Golden that go down there, there’s a benefit to us.”
In addition to the ICU, the entire hospital’s electrical system will get an upgrade as well.
Since the facility acts as a hospital for the entire East Kootenay region, Golden taxpayers will be responsible for chipping in with the bill.
Another subject that generated some discussion was the staffing issues that are being faced by many hospitals in small towns and rural municipalities across the region. According to Coun. Hambruch, Golden has fared pretty well this far, but some staffing issues could be on the horizon.
“It’s something that we need to be aware of around the council table,” Coun. Hambrich said. “How that’s going to be handled, I don’t know.”
So far, Golden hasn’t needed the help of the province, but Coun. Hambruch believes there is a chance it could come to that eventually.
“The bigger the problem becomes, the better the chances that the province is going to get involved by doing more to try to attract people to these areas. It becomes a provincial issue pretty quick,” he said.