Hospital checkup

A delegation from the North Island Hospitals Project toured local communities last week to engage with locals.

PORT HARDY—A delegation from the North Island Hospitals Project toured local communities last week to give presentations on the upcoming build of two new hospitals to serve North Islanders, one in Campbell River and another in Comox.

Tom Sparrow, the Project Manager, spoke in Port Hardy and explained that his team wanted to visit each North Island community to give an overview of the project. “It’s $600 million (being spent on the project) — that’s a lot of money. We want to make sure we get it right.”

The project is still in its planning stages and Sparrow said that the series of presentations were an effort to make sure all potential users of the facilities were engaged and had an opportunity to give feedback before construction begins.

“Our goal is to make this a place where you feel welcome,” he said.

Some in attendance questioned how the new facility would benefit true North Islanders and asked specifically whether the new hospitals would have equipment like a dialysis machine available for outpatients.

Sparrow explained that, while those involved in the project had limited input as to the equipment, the inquiries were “not falling on deaf ears.” He and his team collected issues raised at their consultations and forwarded them to the Ministry of Health.

Initially, the Campbell River facility will not have outpatient dialysis but the infrastructure is planned to make a future addition as straightforward as possible.

In addition the project leaders were investigating ways to improve access to the facility and were seeking partnerships with organizations such as Jeneece Place to provide additional services.