East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook. Google maps photo

East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook. Google maps photo

Hospital board wrestles with capital funding budget

Surprise funding announcement from the province last summer impacted budget planning process

The pharmacy renovations at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital will be expanding as part of a series of capital projects approved by the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District (KERHD) Board last week.

Initially budgeted at $1.45 million, the renovations have expanded in scope and require an additional $1.55 million to complete the project.

Todd Mastel, Director, Business Support with Interior Health, told the board that the pharmacy project expanded in scope during the design phase in order to meet regulations and build out towards the future.

The changes stemmed from requirements from the College of Pharmacists that need separate mixing areas that need negative ventilation, negative pressure for sterilization and venting for staff safety.

“Rather than building two separate rooms, we’re actually building four — doubling our capacity in each of those areas, looking down the road in terms of demands of service,” said Mastel.

The KERHD board is responsible for funding $1.2 million of the projected $3 million total. Last year, the board initially approved $580,000 for the project, but will now chip in an additional $620,000 due to the project’s expansion.

Under provincial legislation, regional hospital boards are responsible for funding 40 per cent of capital projects, while the Ministry of Health, Interior Health equity and surplus funds, and support from local foundations and auxiliaries, covers the remainder.

Energy projects removed from capital projects budget

Two energy-related projects requested by Interior Health were removed from the budget following pushback from a few directors who were frustrated that the two items were pitched outside of the budget planning cycle last summer by Interior Health.

Due to some surprise funding from the province, Interior Health proposed energy conservation measures at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital, such as upgrading LED lighting, replacing a boiler, increasing kitchen ventilation and adding a solar wall, while also proposing a biomass boiler at the Invermere and District Hospital, and another heating boiler replacement at the Creston Valley Hospital.

At the time, some KERHD board directors were miffed that the request was made after the budget had been approved, ultimately kicking the three items down the road to the current budget cycle.

The KERHD 40 per cent cost share of all three projects totalled $1.8 million.

Mastel told the board that the provincial funding which is tied to a carbon-neutral fund, has been used to start the planning process for the projects, even though the board hadn’t approved them.

Mastel said he recognized the bind that the out-of-cycle funding request put the hospital board in, noting that it was additional funding from the ministry that Interior Health didn’t want to give back.

Capital health care projects get the green light

Following budget discussions, the KERHD board approved just over $3 million of it’s share in spending for capital projects and equipment at health care facilities in Cranbrook, Fernie, Golden, Creston and Invermere.

Some of those projects include planning for increased space at the Golden Health Care Centre, a reverse osmosis replacement system at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital, and endoscopy system for the Creston Valley and Elk Valley hospitals, and design work for the East Kootenay Primary Care Network.

Mastel said specific details on the East Kootenay Primary Care Network will be released in the future, but noted that the bulk of the funding will be used to address space needs in Kimberley and Golden.

In total, Interior Health brought forward a capital funding budget of $13.7 million, of which the board mostly approved except for the three energy conservation projects.

The Interior Health Authority has an $84 million budget for capital projects and equipment purchases that will be spread around seven regional hospital districts for the 2021 budget cycle.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

BGC Cranbrook will renovate a facility to relocate 24 existing spaces and add 24 new spaces with support from the Trust. Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust.
Grant funding to help create new childcare spaces in Cranbrook

Columbia Basin Trust providing $10,000 to BGC Cranbrook to help renovate new facility

Earlier this spring, the City of Cranbrook started positioning components of the Stormceptor system to carry storm runoff to Elizabeth Lake from the Innes Avenue neighbourhood. Photo submitted
Stormceptor will bring clean run-off to Elizabeth Lake

The City of Cranbrook is installing new infrastructure to handle the Innes Avenue neighbourhood, but go easy on Elizabeth lake

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Interior Health hospitals not strained by rising COVID case counts

While provincial hospitalizations rise, health care systems in the B.C. Interior remain robust, say officials

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read