August 13, 2013 - 9:05 AM
KELOWNA – As more details come forward about B.C.'s next big luxury hospital, there's more to the picture than just destination healthcare.
The $138-million, 100-bed, entirely private funded facility would not only be the first of its kind in Canada, but will also deliver the specific health care needs of a new First Nations Health Authority.
Funded by the federal government, it would be the province's sixth medical authority, set to launch for early October. After last week's meeting with band chief Robert Louie, Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray says the timing of the two projects was coincidental.
“It was seen as an obvious timing issue,” Gray says, but notes the hospital is by no means a strictly aboriginal health facility.
“It's actually for anybody in the world who wants services they wouldn't get wherever they are,” he says. Operating outside the public health care system it would used by those paying out of pocket for faster care, including medical tourists.
“It would also be the place where First Nations' advanced health care needs would be dispensed.”
While WFN chief Robert Louie has yet to make an official announcement about the project's time frame, the band has already entered an equal partnership with another Canadian company to put up the funds to get the medical “hub” underway.
And with the funds in place, the band expects to be turning sod in late October to prep the site for the 26-month construction project which also includes a hotel.
The site is just off bridge hill and would be accessed from Sneena Road. Each of the 85 private rooms, with windows facing onto Okanagan Lake, will ensure every patient is completely isolated.
Following the lead of the John Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, the facility would not only attract world class leading medical specialists currently unavailable in Kelowna, but will also be equipped with cutting edge technology.
“It would be very heavy on robotics technology and absolute state of the art,” Gray says, with robotics performing some of the tasks otherwise carried out by nurses.
“Half a year ago people were saying, oh sure they're gonna do it, well – they're doing it,” Gray says.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at email@example.com or call (250)718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013