Province covers $40M overrun on Kamloops hospital renovations | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Province covers $40M overrun on Kamloops hospital renovations

Royal Inland Hospital.

The provincial government is covering a massive overrun in construction costs at Royal Inland Hospital after local officials shut the door on helping with the bill.

It comes just months after Interior Health asked for the Thompson Regional Hospital District for assistance with a construction bill that ballooned by $40 million.

Interior Health knows its communication with the hospital district was "not adequate," corporate director for the health authority Todd Mastel said.

READ MORE: BC nurse swiped narcotics then falsified paperwork

"That will not happen again. That will not happen on the Kamloops cancer care project," he said.

He said Interior Health wasn't trying to hide the cost overruns from the hospital district, which funds 40 per cent of construction costs, but that it was a "hectic time" with "a lot of people trying to figure out why" construction costs got so high.

The hospital district voted against putting an extra $16 million toward hospital renovations earlier this year. It's the second phase of a multi-step renovation project at Royal Inland Hospital, with upgrades coming to several areas within the facility.

READ MORE: Hospital board lays into Interior Health over cost overruns at Royal Inland Hospital

The renovations were supposed to cost $53 million, with work starting after construction of the $340 million Gaglardi Tower was completed. By November 2023, that renovation bill was estimated to be $107 million with a $40 million funding shortfall, according to a hospital district report.

The hospital district was vaguely told in the fall of 2022 that "inflationary pressures" are driving up costs. It wasn't attached to any dollar figures at the time.

Mastel didn't offer any further explanation as to why the construction costs drove up as high as they have, but did say communication with the hospital district would be more transparent in the future.

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