City wants to fly hospital expansion banner on hospital

Penticton city council wants to hang a banner supporting a new health centre on Penticton Regional Hospital.

By Shannon Quesnel

Penticton city council wants to hang a banner that promotes a new $300-million health centre on Penticton Regional Hospital.

The banner reads, “Penticton Hospital Expansion Now! prhtower.ca”. It appeared last week at the doctors' town hall meeting. It was later hung on the overpass over Channel Parkway.

Coun. Wes Hopkin says while this might appear self-serving, to ask the Interior Health Authority permission to hang it at the hospital, it's the city's responsibility to help.

The letter of request was ordered at Monday night's council meeting, a day before the provincial government announced there would be no money for Penticton's proposed new patient care tower.

Local doctors have been pushing the tower as a way to solve hospital space shortages. Some departments get their patients to leave their room just to have enough space to adjust equipment.

Premier Christy Clark visited the hospital on Friday but her arrival and request for a business plan was criticized by patient care tower supporters, such as Coun. Garry Litke and Dr. David Paisley. Litke is a board member of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. Paisley is president of the Penticton Medical Society.

The RDOS, through its Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District Board, will fund $120 million. The South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation will add $20 million. The province was to throw in $160 million.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065.


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