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New ICU will replace Archaic 50-year-old facility

Construction is underway to bring more intensive care beds to Nanaimo.

Island Health’s Chief Medical Executive Ben Williams said the new state-of-the-art facility at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital will replace the existing one, which opened in 1970.

He said it will allow staff to offer the best care possible.

“This new ICU is larger, twelve beds rather than 10, its state-of-the-art, the rooms are much larger, we can have all the equipment that we need to provide critical care and we have lifts to keep our staff safe for moving patients, there’s space for dialysis, for breathing machines, for complex infusions of medications, all the complex services that you, or I, or our families might need if we’re really sick.”

“This past year has demonstrated how crucial it is to invest in and maintain a strong public health-care system, said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The need for a new ICU for the people of Nanaimo was clear, and I’m proud that our government responded with both a technological upgrade and an expansion in size.”

Janice Perrino is the CEO of the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation and she said the upgrade to 24 rooms will provide more sick patients with great care.

“The staff and the patients need the proper physical space and we don’t have it in this ICU, so this new building will give us what we need, it includes 12 bedrooms for a new ICU and another 12 bedrooms, it will be shelled in for the new high acuity unit, so that’s a step-up, step-down area for the patients,” said Perrino. “This is so long overdue.”

The hospital foundation set a lofty goal to raise $5 million dollars toward the cost of the ICU, and Perrino said, “To date, we have raised an incredible $4 million dollars toward our…goal.”

The new ICU will cost $42-million dollars and will create three hundred jobs.

  • 200 direct jobs 
  • 100 indirect jobs

“This new and expanded ICU is wonderful news for the people of Nanaimo and the surrounding area,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo. “The community has been advocating for a new ICU for years, and I am proud to be part of the government that is delivering the services they so need.”

It’s expected to open in early 2023.

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