A $6.25-million emergency department redevelopment will support improvements to patient care and privacy at West Coast General Hospital.
“The current West Coast General Hospital has served the people of the Alberni-Clayoquot region well since 2001. However, upgrades are needed so the hospital can continue this high level of care for people for decades to come,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Our government is proud to support this project that will enhance patient-centred care in Port Alberni and area.”
A request for proposals was issued Jan. 14, 2021, for a construction manager to lead the emergency department redevelopment project. Construction is expected to begin in March 2021 with completion in summer 2022.
The redevelopment will include a 244 square-metre (2,626 square-foot) expansion, as well as improvements to the existing emergency department space. The project will add three new patient exam beds, extra space for patients awaiting tests and results, a private, safe seclusion room for patients in need of emergency mental health care, improvements to the triage and admitting area, and two separate entrances for ambulances and the general public.
“West Coast General Hospital is an important part of the community and region, and is also very busy with more than 25,000 patient visits to the emergency department in 2019-20 from not only Port Alberni, but also Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield and surrounding areas,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid-Island-Pacific Rim. “It’s great to see action being taken to upgrade the emergency department, which will improve patient privacy and make it easier for larger family groups to accompany their loved ones.”
The project’s costs are being shared between the Province, which is providing $2.55 million; the West Coast General Hospital Foundation, which has pledged $2 million and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Hospital District, which will contribute $1.7 million.
Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health –
“We are grateful to the Province, West Coast General Hospital Foundation and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Hospital District for their support of this project. We are pleased to be a part of this partnership to support excellent health care in the region.”
Chris Francey, business director, West Coast General Hospital Foundation –
“Expanding and improving the emergency department at West Coast General Hospital is critical not just for Port Alberni, but all of the West Coast communities. This is a significant pledge for our foundation, but we believe it is the right thing to do for all of the families who will need the services of this hospital in the future.”
John McNabb, chair, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Hospital District –
“The emergency department is a busy place, and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Hospital District is very pleased to support this renovation. We know it will greatly benefit patients in the years to come.”