Kelowna’s Interior Heart and Surgical Centre opens its doors

The first three floors of the new Interior Heart and Surgical centre opened today in Kelowna.

The new surgical suites should reduce wait times and travel for patients.

“It’s days like this I wish I would have gone into surgery,” says Dr. Mike Ertel, chief of staff at Kelowna General Hospital, “they’re beautiful.”

The cardiac centre will be used to perform more than 600 heart surgeries every year, as well as more than a dozen other procedures.

The new operating rooms are larger than the old ones, with most of the equipment hanging from robotic arms, freeing up floor space.

The Hybrid OR, which opens in October, will allow for diagnostic imaging during surgery, with 3-D images accessed in real time.

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“Well, I’d like to say we probably have the best OR’s in the whole country today,” says Andrew Hughes, health services administrator.

The new unit cost $381 million.

“I can’t think of any physician that I’ve toured through this building that hasn’t just been blown away,” says Dr. Ertel. “It’s made my job recruiting new doctors a lot easier.”

Dr. Ertel says 34 new physicians have been recruited to Kelowna over the last year and a half and by the end of the year, that number should be more than 40.


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