New north Island hospitals could ease NRGH woes

New north Island hospitals could ease pressure on Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Two new hospitals slated for the north Island could ease pressure on some services offered at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

The 153-bed Comox Valley Hospital is estimated to cost $334 million and the 95-bed Campbell River Hospital $266 million. Both projects are jointly funded between the government and Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District.

Howard Waldner, Vancouver Island Health Authority CEO, said a percentage of the population that will be served at the facilities currently accesses care in Nanaimo.

“It could well ease some pressure,” he said.

About 800 cases for patients from the north Island area are handled at NRGH.

Waldner said there is a possibility of expanding the services at the two new hospitals as they become more established, offering services such as renal care.

Margi Blamey, spokeswoman for the Hospital Employees’ Union, said it’s too early to tell what the impact of these two new hospitals will be.

She said the union is still waiting to see what the impact on workers will be because the hospitals are public-private partnerships with some services likely contracted out under the P3 model.