Hospital board to take 2nd look at $1M request for new Penticton urgent care centre | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Hospital board to take 2nd look at $1M request for new Penticton urgent care centre

A funding request by Interior Health for $1 million for Penticton's new urgent primary care centre is coming back before the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen hospital board later this week.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Interior Health
May 03, 2021 - 6:30 PM

The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital Board will take another look at a $1 million funding request from Interior Health at this week’s hospital board meeting.

The board of directors voted down an Interior Health extraordinary, one-time request for $1 million in capital funding for the centre at the last regional health board meeting, April 15. Directors were displeased at the timing of the request, which took place after the clinic had already opened.

The board will also be asked to approve a letter to the Minister of Health expressing concern over a lack of transparency and openness with regard to the new urgent and primary care centre that opened up March 31 at 437 Martin Street in Penticton.

The letter to the ministry is intended to point out what the board says were December, 2020 discussions “so vague, that the board could not consider funding it," referring to the urgent and primary care centre.

The board also describes subsequent discussions with Interior Health representatives in February where frustrations were apparent over their ability to speak freely about the centre.

“The opening of the facility and then the subsequent request for supplementary funding after the clinic was already constructed and opened was disappointing,” a report to the board notes.

Directors at the April 15 meeting did approve a motion to apply to have the centre designated a hospital, after the funding request had been turned down, in a decision Naramata director Karla Kozakevich called “interesting."

Interior Health has since said the care centre will continue operating in spite of the funding shortfall.

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and the Okanagan-Similkameen Hospital Board CAO Bill Newell said in April the board could revisit the matter if the hospital chair introduced a motion to bring the matter back for reconsideration.

Hospital board chair Judy Sentes is intending to do just that at the May 6 meeting, presenting her motion as follows: “That should 101- 437 Martin Street be designated a hospital, that the request for $1,000,000 to assist with funding of an urgent and primary care centre be approved, with funding to come from the hospital reserve.”

If the motion to reconsider is defeated this time, it will not be allowed fo come back to the board again.

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