Renovation to Arrow Lakes Hospital emergency room on the horizon

Planning for renovations to the 41 year old hospital's emergency department are in the works.

The emergency room at the Arrow Lakes Hospital might be getting some work done in the next few years.

The hospital was built in 1975, and the emergency room hasn’t been upgraded since that time.

“The West Kootenay Boundary Hospital Board (WKBHB) did a tour of all the facilities,” said Karen Hamling, mayor of Nakusp. “In2014, we discussed the need for the emergency room upgrades at the Arrow Lakes Hospital.”

Because of a lack of electrical outlets, electrical cords have had to be strung across the department.

“The board saw that, and there was a unanimous vote to ask the Interior Health Authority (IHA) to include the planning for therenovations in the 2015 budget, which they didn’t do, and the board was pretty upset with that,” said Hamling.

At the last WKBHB board meeting in Jaunary, Hamling asked if the board would consider putting $100,000 from its reservestoward planning and the board agreed to do it. They offered this money to IHA to get the ball rolling.

“It is important to note that we are in the planning phase at this time,” said Karl Hardt, commucations officer with IH East. “Oncethe initial planning is complete, we will have to look at more detailed design and funding approvals before actual constructioncan begin.”

The scope and cost of improvements in Nakusp mean Ministry of Health approval is required for the planning process and thenthe construction.

Improvements to the emergency department will focus on creating a better space for patients and staff, improving the flowthrough the department, and improving privacy. IHA will also be looking at creating better space for physicians and visitingspecialists to Nakusp.

“It will be great, because it’s time that we had better access, better equipment, and better room space, that can help thephysicians and nursing staff do their job in a more efficient way,” said Hamling.

In addition, IHA is redesigning the old nursery area to make a better space for patients who come to the emergency departmentand need to stay there overnight for observation.


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