KAMLOOPS — At an investment of about $450 per surgery a temporary operating room comes with a hefty price tag but is expected to serve thousands of people over the lifetime of the unit.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional Hospital District recently approved a list of cost shares requests from Interior Health Authority and the temporary surgical suite at Royal Inland Hospital accounts for more than half of the nearly $2.6 million that will come from the district.
The district will cover $1.4 million of the $3.6 million project, which will convert current unused space (former operating room area) into a new operating room, four new post anaesthetic recovery room beds, eight new surgical inpatient beds and the opening of an ICU bed in an already constructed space.
While the facility is considered temporary, Kamloops Mayor and hospital district chair Peter Milobar says it will actually serve the community for a while.
“Realistically it will probably be used for at least 10 years before we see the surgical tower built,” Milobar says. “When you're looking at several hundred more surgeries per year over 10 years, it's significant.”
Interior Health told the district it expects 700-900 surgeries to be performed per year in the new temporary space.
Every year the health authority requests a list of major equipment and renovation projects they wish to see cost shared at 40 per cent. With a total amount of almost $7.2 million for six renovation projects and six pieces of equipment.
Also approved was the renovation of the hospital anatomic pathology lab at $674,000. The project was approved last year but came in at a higher cost after the concept and design were completed, requiring another approval. Relocation of laundry services to Overlander Extended Care at $215,000 was approved last year at a lower budget. As well, upgrade of an uniterruptible power supply for the hospital at $74,000, a code white call system for South Hills Tertiary Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre at $70,000 and a Vocera communications system for the operating room department at the hospital at $70,000 were approved.
Approved equipment includes a gamma camera for the hospital at $934,000 and an MRI upgrade bundle at $901,662. A nurse call system for Ponderosa Lodge at $293,000 was approved last year but more units will be added to the total. Also, the trauma traction surgical table for the hospital at $130,000, Pyxis Medstations at the hospital (automated secure medication cabinets) at $120,000 and an ultrasonic aspirator for the hospital at $108,000 were approved.
Last year 12 renovation projects and nine pieces of equipment were requested for cost share for a total of $6.9 million.
Construction of the $80 million clinical services building, which will provide expanded space for medical outpatient services, clinical education and the UBC medical school, is also underway at the hospital and is expected to take about two years to complete.
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