NANAIMO - Health Minister Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid today officially opened the new and expanded $36.9-million Emergency Wing at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital that will ensure excellent emergency services continue to serve the rapidly growing Central Island region.
The 3,082 square-metre expansion triples the size of the existing emergency department and includes psychiatric emergency services and a psychiatric intensive care unit.
"With the opening of this spacious emergency wing, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital will be able to continue to meet the emergency-care needs in the Central Island area now and into the future," said MacDiarmid. "All across the province, our government is investing in building better emergency care, including the $19.7-million for the expansion in Nanaimo."
"The mid-Island's population is not only growing, but aging as well - so this expansion is particularly timely and will help NRGH meet the demands of our growing population," said Parksville-Qualicum MLA Ron Cantelon. "Improving health-care access for B.C. families is a key part of our government's Families First platform, and I'm glad that mid-Island families will have better access to high-quality health care close to home."
The Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation has pledged $4 million toward the purchase of lifesaving equipment for the new Emergency Department.
"Our donors have shown incredible support for this project and it has been a pleasure to share this success with individuals, service groups, and businesses who have given to the cause. This is a fabulous facility, with an extraordinary staff that has helped us every step of the way. While the foundation still has approximately $1 million to raise, we believe the community will help us reach this goal in order to equip their hospital," said Christine McAuley, chair of the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation board of directors.
In addition to the financial contributions by the B.C. government and the foundation, the Regional Hospital District of Nanaimo also contributed $13.2 million to the project.
"The design group has done an excellent job of bringing together this much-needed expansion for our emergency department, with innovative technologies and green building elements such as automated window shading, radiant panels, direct digital temperature control and other energy-saving features," said Joe Stanhope, chair of the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District. "We are pleased to be a partner in this expanded facility that will be of great benefit to the residents of our region."
"Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is the single-busiest emergency department on Vancouver Island, serving over 57,000 patients annually. The new wing is highly efficient with streamlined processes to provide patients with a better experience," said Don Hubbard, Vancouver Island Hospital Authority board chair. "The light-filled rooms, numerous windows, skylights and courtyards provide a calming setting for patients and their families."
The Vancouver Island Health Authority issued an Invitation to Bid in June 2010 for General Contractors. The contract was awarded in August 2010 to CMF Construction Ltd. of Nanaimo, part of the Nanaimo-based GW Carlson Group of Companies.
The new Emergency Wing is scheduled to open to patients on Oct. 1, 2012.
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Ministry of Health
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