Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health, announced Wednesday the province’s commitment to building a new ICU facility at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for a cost of $33.85 million. (NICHOLAS PESCOD/NEWS BULLETIN)

Editorial: Hospital ICU investment welcome in our Hub City

A Hub City needs to be a hub of all sorts of services, including health care.

A new intensive care unit for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is a welcome and important upgrade for health care here. It’s already needed, and that need will become more pronounced as our city grows.

When we think of Nanaimo as the Hub City for our part of Vancouver Island, we’re often thinking about the important transportation connections that happen here. But our shops and services also draw people here from surrounding communities on the Island, and so does our health care.

The Nanaimo hospital is a busy place because it serves our community of 90,000-plus and also provides various types of care to patients from around the region. The hospital, Island Health and health services in general are huge employers. Better facilities benefit patients and help nurses and physicians do their jobs, and we like the idea that hospital expansion could sort of feed into itself and hopefully create momentum for continued investment in the sector. While there are a few parking challenges currently in the area, there realistically is capacity for continued hospital expansion.

We’ve heard that demographics of an aging population mean that over time, some of the pressures could ease at the Nanaimo hospital. But our city will probably still grow and the B.C. government foresees that, anticipating that visits to Nanaimo’s intensive care unit could increase by 30 per cent over the next 15 years.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said when he became minister in 2017, the Nanaimo ICU project rapidly become a priority of the provincial government. He said people here need and deserve a new ICU.

“It has moved forward quickly because we desperately need the project,” he said.

If this is a fast-tracked fix, it also aligns well with long-term good health for Nanaimo and the region.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Robbie Burns Day recognized with bagpipes and haggis

Nanaimo celebrates life and works of 18th-century poet

Licensed cannabis store opens in Nanaimo’s north end

Mood Cannabis Company’s Metral Drive location opened Jan. 18

Two women struck by vehicle at Nanaimo intersection

One woman taken to hospital with possible broken bones

Nanaimo school district to explore trustee wage increases, benefits

SD68 staff compile report comparing trustee remuneration with five similar school districts

Cars crash on old Island Highway at Mary Ellen Drive

No injuries reported in accident, which happened at about noon

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 23

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read