Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo hospital district may seek help from other Vancouver Island regions for $1B project

Funding for patient tower and services discussed by committee

With a new Nanaimo hospital patient tower projected to cost approximately $1 billion and staff requesting advocacy for increased services, the Regional District of Nanaimo may ask neighbouring districts to cover some of the costs.

It was a topic of discussion for the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District select committee June 3, as members passed a motion asking staff to look into partnering with other regional districts and working together to fund specialized services at NRGH.

In March, NRGH staff asked the RDN to ask the B.C. government to commit to a plan that included the patient tower, as well as cardiac service and a comprehensive cancer service centre, which the board agreed to do.

Under the current funding formula, the RDN would be on the hook for 40 per cent of the cost (currently $420 million) with the B.C. government taking care of the remaining 60 per cent.

Leanne Salter, Coombs-area director, proposed the motion.

“There is a monetary issue at hand, and can we do things differently and still achieve our goal and not just our goal, but we’re talking Vancouver Island,” said Salter. “Because even if the RDN and the electoral areas fund the tertiary hospital in Nanaimo and do the 60/40 and the cancer clinic, all those things we’re talking about … but if we do that, we’re doing the same thing over and over.

“We’re going to carry on down this road until we hit the wall and we will hit a wall because of the costs, so can we start looking at this a little differently?”

Phyllis Carlyle, RDN chief administrative officer, said the district could ask peers but more information will be needed.

“There’s nothing wrong with asking,” said Carlyle. “But I think it would have to have some rationale that we would have to get from [Island Health] about the expectation as to which patients are coming from which regional districts currently for service at Nanaimo and in the future when they build the additions that they’re expecting, what do they expect the patient flow to be from where.

“We don’t have that data, but we can ask (Island Health) if they have those projections and see if those projections actually support those regional districts funding part of the existing structure.”

According to a staff report, a north Island hospital project, which opened in fall 2017, consisted of a 95-bed hospital at Campbell River and 153-bed facility for Comox. It had a combined price tag of $606 million and the Comox regional hospital district provided $150 million from its reserves, accumulated in anticipation of the project.

The remaining $90 million was secured through borrowing (10-year long-term debt), said the report, and tax requisition for its residents is 54¢ per $1,000 assessed in 2020.

Nanaimo Regional Hospital District currently taxes at 16¢ per $1,000 assessed and could increase that rate in order to help pay for its hospital improvements, the report suggested.

Currently, construction on the tower is anticipated to begin in 2026.

The recommendation will need to go before the hospital district board. Its next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 7.

RELATED: RDN asked to back plan for more services at NRGH

RELATED: Construction underway on NRGH’s new ICU



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

HospitalsIsland HealthNanaimo Regional District

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read