New RIH patient care tower gets official green light

Terry Lake and Todd Stone with drawing of tower (in green).

Terry Lake and Todd Stone with drawing of tower (in green).

There were no surprises at the announcement on “the future of Royal Inland Hospital” today (Monday, Feb. 6, 2017) — nobody expected it to be anything but the “official approval” of a new patient care tower — but you can never hear good news too many times.

Health Minister Terry Lake had the honour of making the $417-million announcement to a room full of health professionals, community leaders and media, saying he expects “shovels in the ground” by 2018 and the opening in 2022.

He said the announcement today was the result of “many years of hard work from all of our partners.”

One of those partners is the Thompson Regional Hospital District, which will contribute $172 million in tax dollars. The provincial government and Interior Health will pay $225 million and the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation will put in another $20 million.

Hospital district board chair Peter Milobar and directors Herb Graham, Bill Kershaw, Ken Gillis and I were there for the Thompson Regional Hospital District. Councillors Dieter Dudy and Ken Christian attended for Kamloops City council.

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA and Transportation Minister Todd Stone, Interior Health board chair John O’Fee and RIH board chair Eric Davis were among others in attendance.

The nine-storey tower will have three floors of inpatient beds including mental health and medical/surgical beds, a new surgical suite and other facilities. Lake said 80 per cent of the beds will be in private rooms.

The tower will also include underground and surface parking and a heliport on top of the building.

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