Upgrades are in the works for the emergency department at the Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre, benefiting patients and health professionals.
“The dedicated staff at Nicola Valley Hospital do outstanding work to care for local patients and provide excellent emergency care for the region,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Today’s announcement is a big step toward an upgraded facility that will further strengthen emergency health services in the Nicola Valley and the Coquihalla corridor.”
The initial planning stage is underway as Interior Health has released a request for proposals for architectural and planning consultants to develop a plan to assess the physical space and health-care service requirements for the hospital’s emergency department.
“The community has looked forward to this project for a long time,” said Jackie Tegart, Fraser-Nicola MLA. “This is great news - an important investment in health-care services in the community. We know that having modern health-care facilities and services are important criteria for many businesses and families in their decision to locate in communities. I’m excited about what this may mean for the future of the Merritt region.”
During the planning process, the consultants will consider patient privacy and confidentiality, safety, infection prevention and control measures, and patient access and flow.
“Interior Health is committed to the provision of quality health-care to all of its residents,” said Interior Health board chair Erwin Malzer. “This important work is the first of several steps required to proceed with a renovation to Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre’s emergency department, which serves so many residents in the Merritt region.”
The cost of the planning will be approximately $600,000, to be cost-shared between the Province, through Interior Health, and the Thompson Regional Hospital District.
“The Thompson Regional Hospital District is pleased to be partnering in this project. A renovation to the Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre’s emergency department will serve residents of this region, as well as the many tourists who travel through our beautiful area every year,” said Peter Milobar, Thompson Regional Hospital District chair.
This phase is expected to take approximately nine to 12 months to complete.
Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre is located in Merritt, at the intersection of four busy highways, including the Coquihalla Highway. Built in 1964, the hospital serves a population of approximately 12,000 people.
The Ministry of Health has developed Setting Priorities for the B.C. Health System, an overarching strategy to create a more sustainable health system. As part of this, a series of policy papers, including one on rural-health services, was created, built on understanding the health-care needs of patients living in rural communities and developing quality, sustainable and innovative delivery models to improve care.
To read the Ministry of Health’s strategic document, Setting Priorities for the BC Health System and the accompanying policy papers, please visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/health-priorities/setting-priorities-for-bc-health
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)
250 314-2100, ext. 3754
250 574-1523 (cell)